BY SARAH SIGNORINO | January 18, 2019

When my daughter, Mary, started becoming more aware of what going to Mass was, I would take time afterward to walk around Christ the King Chapel at Canisius College to talk about what we saw.

We were walking by the altar. She looked up at the small crucifix of Jesus (the one we carry in our procession), and she said, “Look, Mama, Jesus has toes!” I remember her smiling face as she reached out to point at Jesus’ bare feet.

Jesus had toes.

And feet. Feet that walked thousands of miles. Feet that were born into a simple existence in a simple place to a young mother and a carpenter. Feet that fled into Egypt as a child refugee. Feet that traversed Israel. Feet that walked and stood with those on the margins. Feet that challenged injustice. Feet that stood their ground. 

Since our children have a remarkable ability to call our attention to details outside (or long forgotten) from our perspective, I invite us all into a family conversation. Consider asking your children or spending some time in your own reflection about Jesus’ humanity using these small details to inspire you.

Jesus’ feet: Where did they take him? What did the ground feel like as he walked with his friends? What kind of shoes would Jesus have worn? What would Jesus’ toes have looked like?

Jesus’ hands: What would his hands felt like after working with his father? Who on the margins did Jesus touch? Who did Jesus heal? How did he connect to others with his hands? How did he invite others in? How did he remain open to the will of his Father?

Jesus’ eyes: Upon whom did Jesus gaze in wonder? In love? In anger? In fear? In disappointment? In hope?

Jesus’ mouth: What kind of foods did Jesus eat? With whom did he share meals? What significance did these meals have on his friends?

How can we walk, touch, see, and taste in the way of our Lord? Let us first remember, my friends, that Jesus had toes.

 

3 replies
  1. Avatar
    Meghan says:

    Thank you for this reminder. I have had similar experiences with my own children, who seem to have an innate ability to change our perspective with the smallest observations, and magically take you to a different spiritual place.

    However, I’ve also recently been challenged by another keen and painful refection from my 11 year old son. While out in the car running errands, out of the blue he said: “Mom, I’m not sure I like our religion any more.” When I asked why, he responded: “Well, I don’t like how it’s not fair to women and doesn’t treat fairly, I don’t like how it’s mean to gay people and doesn’t let them get married, and now I heard that there are some people in Church who hurt children.” It struck me that the sickness and sins of our church — misogyny, bigotry, and abuse — are clear and stark to a child, even if our leaders refuse to acknowledge them. And how can a parent respond?

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  2. Avatar
    Maria says:

    Where in Israel did Jesus walk?
    I’m surprised that in a piece that advocates for standing with people on the margins and challenging injustice, this I assume gross oversight affecting the lives of millions under occupation will be rectified quickly. If not, here’s me, a child, calling attention to an important detail: even injustice (e.g. of geopolitical erasure happening to Palestine) can extend even into a “justice network”. Stand on the right side, please.

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