Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – a lesson in humility

It is a common enough assertion in society that immigrants do the jobs that most of us are unwilling to perform even when we ourselves are destitute and unemployed. Speaking to an Anglican priest yesterday he mentioned a part of the priestly vestments that in these times is rarely worn. A small insignificant part of the priest’s apparel that might easily go unnoticed. Yet sometimes the smallest thing has the greatest meaning.

The ‘maniple’ is an embroidered piece of silk worn over the left arm and resembles a hand towel. The maniple is there to remind the priest that he is a servant of God. That underneath the rich robes and gowns the priest is first and foremost a servant to all.    In the Bible we read in the gospel of John chapter 13 that because there was no servant at the Passover meal Jesus himself took up the towel and a bowl of water to wash his disciples’ feet. A menial task performed by the Son of God who was prepared to humble himself at every opportunity to fulfil the Father’s will.

In 1967 the Roman Catholic Church gave an instruction that ‘The maniple is no longer required.’ Do we also carry within our hearts an instruction that the wash cloth is no longer required?

It is on this day all those in Great Britain and the Commonwealth group of nations celebrate and give thanks to God for Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth for her servant heart towards her subjects over the past sixty years.

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