The Kind Prince 04/06/2012
 
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There once was a good and kind prince who adored his people. He showered them with goodness; feeding them, clothing them, curing their ills and spending time with them, teaching them the principles and wisdom of the kingdom. Though the prince was of royal lineage, he wore no arrogance or vanity and instead came to people as a simple man, sharing many a modest meal of bread and wine, promoting the meek and humble.

In turn, the prince’s subjects flocked to him, seeking his service, his comfort, his aid. Little children played with him, their small voices twinkling with laughter, mixing with the rich amusement of the prince’s own voice. From the mountains to the ocean; from hills, to desert, to rich farmland, the prince ventured to be with his people.

But despite the prince’s love of his people, a grumbling began to erupt. Suspicion and distrust grew. Some did not like his kind and gentle ways. They were scared of him and how the people followed him. They growled to each other, declaring the prince must be stopped..stopped before he could change the world as they knew it. Even though, the prince claimed the world would be better, these people did not believe. The grumble grew to a murmur, then to a whine and a yowl— finally ending in a loud roar, swallowing the people in hate and rage.

The prince was aware of the mutiny swelling within his people, but in his attitude of love and forgiveness, he continued to reach out to his subjects. He meekly accepted their invitation as they welcomed him into their city, breaking bread with them, celebrating the holiday and continuing his mission to share the king’s design, all the while knowing a horrible crime was about to be committed; a crime that would lead to his ultimate doom, a torturous and violent death. And it would commence at the hand of one of his most beloved friends. Even though the pain in his heart was great, the prince allowed himself to fall into the trap, to be mocked and ridiculed, handed over to be murdered by the people he loved the most. He became a sacrifice, forgiving his offenders and offering a future for those who would turn to him in his death.

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By now, I’m sure you have guessed the prince in my story is our own Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ. I can’t help but be moved today, on this the most holy of Christian holidays, Good Friday. What a travesty. What a tremendous transgression against our good and kind prince. Why? Why would the Heavenly Father allow this good Prince to die? But I only have to look in the mirror to know.

At last night’s Holy Thursday mass, I watched the reenactment of the Lord washing his disciple’s feet. I was instantly overcome with a feeling of unworthiness. I tried to find some comfort, remembering the reflection my dear husband had shared me…the incredible symbolism of the washing of the feet. He shared...

At Peter’s rejection of having the Lord wash his feet, Jesus said, “Unless I wash you, you will have no part of me.” 

Peter responded, “Then Lord, not just my feet, but my head and hands as well.” 

I can only imagine Jesus’ smile as he answered once again to Peter.  “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet.” 

I can picture Peter sitting back, puzzled by the Lord’s riddle. The bath Jesus spoke of is baptism. At that, we are washed clean and receive the blessing to be a part of Jesus’ life. But we still walk among sin, the grime and stains sticking to our feet. Though our body is cleaned, we need to wash our feet…and can do so by confessing to our Lord and accepting his washing waters of forgiveness.

I smiled at the reflection, but the unworthiness remained. Even though I loved my Lord, I couldn’t imagine him ever washing my feet. My sins are too great. Too many times, I am ignorant and arrogant, unworthy of the Lord’s modest gesture of cleansing.  How could I ever be worthy of that? A small voice whispered to me, quiet and hushed like a feather in the wind. Jesus spoke to my heart… “Come to me, sit with me and let me love you. You are worthy because you are mine.” 

May the Lord keep you and bless you as we reflect on Jesus’ death and celebrate his resurrection, his glorious gift of salvation. Have a blessed Easter.