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Viewpoints

Bishop Burbidge encourages faithful to 'wash others' feet,' just as Jesus did

092811-rt-bishop-burbidge-holy-hour-homilyCHARLOTTE — During a homily for Holy Hour, Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge encouraged the faithful to come frequently to adore Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and then take the spiritual gifts we receive from Him and go forth to serve others – washing their feet just as Jesus washed the feet of His disciples.

The Holy Hour on Sept. 24 at the 2011 Eucharistic Congress immediately followed a Eucharistic Procession from St. Peter Church on Tryon Street to the Charlotte Convention Center, and the procession and the Holy Hour drew an estimated crowd of 5,100 faithful.

Bishop Burbidge recalled the enthusiasm, joy and faith he found at World Youth Day in Madrid recently, and how 2 million young people gathered with Pope Benedict XVI to worship and praise the Lord, both in prayer and song, as well as in the silence of Eucharistic Adoration. In that stillness, the youths could feel the power of Jesus, he said, and many youths told him that they did not want to leave Madrid and return home.

But they had to return home in order to share the spiritual gifts they received with others, he said, just as when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, entreating them to "do this in memory of Me."

"This Eucharistic Congress proclaims and celebrates the power of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament," Bishop Burbidge said. "We proclaim together our beliefs that the Eucharist is the Body, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ...

"So we come to this Holy Hour and fall on our knees: we offer praise and worship to our God; and we allow time to be stilland be silent in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord and to experience His grace and power in our lives."

He encouraged the faithful to seek out Jesus every day, and to grow in our faith and relationship with the Lord.

Return home from the congress to serve others and find meaning, purpose and joy in washing others' feet, he said.

And while it may be difficult, he emphasized in the conclusion to his homily, sometimes we must put aside our pride and allow others to wash our feet, just as Peter allowed Jesus to wash his feet.

Editor's note: Go to the Diocese of Charlotte's YouTube channel to view the complete video of Bishop Burbidge's Holy Hour homily. Read the full text of Bishop Burbidge's homily.

— Patricia Guilfoyle, editor

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LETTERS FROM OUR READERS

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FROM THE PASTORS

Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at  parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte: