Maundy Thursday

In recent time the British government suggested changing the law of succession as it is outdated and not fitting to the modern world. The current rule discriminates against a female in succession to the throne. Last week the BBC revealed that Ms Middleton roots reach back to an ordinary miner’s family. Prince William works as a rescue pilot, his brother served in Afghanistan as an ordinary soldier alongside other British troops. More or less we appreciate this trend to what is apparent equality. We do it even more when we compare the British royals to the peculiar, authoritarian Middle-East ones with their ostentatious richness and incredible poverty of their subjects.

Our society has also become more equal than some time ago. Generally everybody has a chance to gain some significant achievements using his or her own skills and talents – something rather hardly imaginable a hundred years ago in this country, and sadly in many countries at present. All these changes we take for granted – they appear to be absolutely obvious, woven into our everyday life.

However some people accuse Christianity of almost every evil in the world, we have to remember that all these changes towards equality started one evening during a solemn festive supper. ‘You call me Master and Lord, and rightly, so I am. If, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you’. Of course that was a gesture, an outward act of an internal attitude. Jesus did something that was a slave’s duty. This example was fully fulfilled next day, when Jesus gave up his life for people who didn’t deserve such a grand sacrifice.

If that process of introducing equality into the social fabric started two thousand years ago why did it take so long to reach its present state? The answer is sadly simple – because we all have a tendency to dominate other people. With the authority we have been given we try to keep control over a spouse, children, employees and so on. Sometimes we exercise it directly, sometimes in an oblique way. Lowering ourselves seems to be so unnatural for us that it requires a particular effort.

Every Sunday we hear the same words, outspoken by the Lord and repeated by a priest: ‘this is my body […] given up for you […]; do this in memory of me’. We are invited to follow the example introducing it into our everyday lives. Taking communion is not just a religious ritual – it’s first of all a declaration, an agreement of living and acting with the same attitude as Jesus. Eucharist makes sense only if it changes us; if it doesn’t, the sacrifice of the Lord is in vain.