Did you know that there are 26 bones in the human foot? Amazing things, our feet. They enable us to stand and not fall over. They make it possible for us to dance, play football, or kick the can.
Besides, there are footmen, foot soldiers, and footnotes. Some people stand in the footlights, get a foothold, or are just footloose. Sometimes we put our best foot forward, put our foot in your mouth, foot the bill, or live in the foothills.
Amazing things, our feet. The most amazing thing about our feet, be they small or big, dainty or calloused, is that they can be…the feet of Christ.
It was Teresa of Avila (1515–1582) who said that. She said:
Christ has no body but yours…
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
In our first reading today Paul quotes the prophet, Isaiah, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings.” (Isaiah 52:7) (One glance at my feet proves that Paul was not speaking of physical beauty!) Paul is proclaiming how beautiful are the feet of those who decide follow the Lord. In today’s gospel Peter and Andrew decided to follow Jesus. Their feet took to them into Jesus’ company where they walked with him, talked with him and watched him preach the Gospel. Isaiah’s statement would certainly identify Jesus’ feet as beautiful. Eventually Peter and Andrew would be sent out to preach the gospel. And, behold, their feet became beautiful, too.
When we make a decision our feet are usually involved. We decide to get out of bed in the morning. So our feet hit the floor. We decide to go to school or go to work. Our feet have to take us there. But there is more.
When we choose to walk the way of truth, justice and peace, our feet are beautiful. When we decide to walk with refugees, the poor, hungry or abandoned, our feet are beautiful. When we decide to walk beside a person who just needs a listening ear, our feet are beautiful.
Each day the Lord calls us to follow him more closely. Let us say, “Yes,” and put our best foot forward. We can’t go wrong.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/