Glorious Cross March 13
(The Crosier) is close to people, compassionate to all who suffer (Profile of the Congolese Crosier).
Welcoming suffering people is a sacred duty of the Crosiers, the act that expresses the essence of their ministry. With a very touching gesture on the eve of his crucifixion, Jesus concretized forever this welcome of sufferers. After the meal of Holy Thursday, “he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist” (Jn 13:4-5). The feet washed were the feet of men suffering from sin and all is consequences: the disorders of soul and body and heart. Jesus made of this gesture the model of Christian ministry, asking (“mandatum”) that his disciples imitate it. Down through the centuries, the Constitutions of the Crosiers required the Prior (superior) of the community every Thursday to wash the feet of his brothers. By this practice, the confreres were forcefully reminded of their vocation to identify closely with suffering people, no matter where they were found. This ritual has since disappeared in the life of the Crosiers. But the duty remains to approach suffering people with sensitivity to refresh them in the name of Christ.
The salve may not heal the wound, but it soothes it nonetheless. (Minyanka)