The Viennese archbishop washed feet during the feast of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday - "Nobody leaves his homeland voluntarily!"
Vienna (kath.net/ KAP) The concern for the poor and the distressed is a prerequisite for believers to receive the Communion. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn recalled the feast of the Lord's Supper in the St. Stephen's Cathedral on Holy Thursday. "We meet Jesus when we help the poor and when we receive Him in the Communion - but both are inseparable," stressed the Cardial. What Catholics perform with receiving Communion, they must also prove in their lives.
"If we do not serve one another, the Communion is unworthy," said Schönborn, in the context of the ritual of washing the feet, which is part of the Liturgy of Holy Thursday in memory of Christ's humiliation at the Last Supper. Jesus had given an example to all Christians with foot washing. "If we do not serve one another, bow down to each other as Jesus has bowed down to his disciples, when we meet one another arrogantly, despise each other, how shall we receive the Eucharist?" Asked the Cardinal.
The washing of the feet illustrates the inner attitude of believers to the altar. If those who went to the Communion refused to serve the poor or the suffering, or if the forms of contempt, separation, and injustice were well received, they could not receive the Communion in a worthy manner, said the Cardinal quoting Pope Francis.
Footwashing was once slavery
The Viennese Archbishop washed the feet twelve young women and men at the worship service. Among them were four members of the family, as well as eight people who came to Austria as refugees and were "already baptized or on their way to baptism," as Schönborn explained.
The washing of the feet in the Orient at the time of Jesus was slavery, said the Cardinal in his homily, recalling that even today people are enslaved. Explicitly, Schönborn mentioned refugees from Africa "who are fleeing from hunger and then slavery." In Vienna, slavery and human trafficking were also carried out, the Cardinal pointed out. Women would be forced to prostitution and then held as slaves. "This is happening with us," the cardinal said, not to hide this reality.
"Thinking of refugees on Good Friday"
"On Good Friday, it is good to think of the many who have to leave their homes today." To this end, Cardinal Schönborn called for this in his free-time newspaper "Heute" in his Friday column. Their need should not leave us indifferent, "even if we can not alleviate all their need." We should at least remember this," wrote the Archbishop of Vienna.
Schoenborn quoted his 97-year-old mother (her birthday this time on Good Friday), who had been forced herself to flee during the war - for many, "Nobody leaves his home voluntarily". From her home in Bohemia, Eleonore Schönborn had fled with her four young children, who at that time had to start a new life in Vorarlberg as a single-parent and single-mother. The Cardinal in retrospect: "We found ourselves in a poor Austria after the war. I understand that my mother is thinking differently about refugee issues than many people in our country today."
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