March 25, 2016, 2:15 a.m. – FOLLOWING the recent suicide bomb attacks in Brussels, the faithful at the University were urged to “love” those who sow terror, as a way to “wash each other’s feet.”

“Even if we do not like them (terrorists) for they are wicked, we still have to love them as God loves them,” Fr. Roland Castro, O.P., prior of the Priory of St. Thomas, said during the Mass of the Last Supper at the Plaza Mayor on Maundy Thursday, March 25. “The measure of our maturity is our love for God and others,” he said.

Christians should learn to love the people who need it the most, he added. “If we fail in our love, we have missed what it means to be a Christian,” Fr. Castro said. 

At Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City, mother church of the Filipino Dominicans, parish priest Fr. Ramon Salibay, O.P., cited traditions such as the washing of the feet, the Sign of the Cross, and participation in Holy Mass as “signatures” of one’s Christian identity. These traditions are also signs of a Christian’s humility, he said. “Ang paghuhugas ng paa ay paggunita ng kababaan ng loob,” Fr. Salibay said in his homily.


Washing of the feet

Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the Holy Triduum, the highest point of the Church’s liturgical year that commemorates the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the salvation of men.

In UST, the washing of the feet  was led by Fr. Castro, assisted by UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy O.P. and Fr. Louie Coronel O.P., parish priest of the Santisimo Rosario Parish. The tradition is a reenactment of Christ’s washing of the feet of the 12 apostles. 

Members of the Extraordinary Lay Ministers of Holy Communion, the Legion of Mary, the Parish Biblical Apostolate, and barangay officials were chosen for the ceremony. In the Santo Domingo, the feet of 12 acolytes or altar boys were washed. 

The rites ended with the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose, where people kept vigil ahead of Good Friday, the day of Christ’s crucifixion and death.

Santo Domingo will host the “Siete Palabras” today, Good Friday, with Dominican preachers taking turns reflecting on the seven last words of Christ.

The Holy Week triduum ends on Saturday, during the Easter Vigil. Gabriel M. Agcaoili and Lea Mat P. Vicencio


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