Washing One Another’s Feet: SJOG Homes for Ukraine Easter Appeal

As we gather this Holy Thursday, we remember once again the example that Christ gives us to live in the services of others (John 13:1-15). We can only do this because of the love He has already generously given us, by being His beloved sons and daughters. The word ‘Maundy’ is derived from the Latin word, mandatum which reminds us that our call to imitate Him in loving service is not merely a suggestion or optional extra, but an order or command. The washing of the feet is symbolic of how we are called to give to those who will not give us anything back in return (Acts 20:35). Our first receiving from Christ enables us to give to others.

This causes us to reflect on ways in which we might be able to respond the question of Jesus as he asks, ‘do you understand what I have done to you?’ The literal washing of His disciples’ feet extends to us today spiritually as we participate in the sacraments and receive the good things that God continues to give us. How then might we wash one another’s feet? How can we actively answer the call of our Lord and Master? For many, this may be in small ways this Easter. For others, bigger gestures are possible.

In light of this, there still remains a high number of men, women, and children seeking to flee Ukraine as war rages in its third year. The SJOG Homes for Ukraine scheme seeks sponsors who may have a spare bedroom in their home or empty property that could accommodate an individual or family for 6 months, to help those that are fleeing the terrible war settle into life in the UK.

So far, the Catholic community in England and Wales have responded very generously, with many Ukrainian people now living here, miles away from the war zone. As of March 2024, our project has successfully matched 139 guests, and this shortly set to rise with the approval of more visas in the next few weeks. We have also indirectly supported more than 300 people through webinars and offline events. However, the need is still great. The number of families still waiting to find a home is over 2000. Hosting displaced people is a great way to learn about different cultures and build new friendships.

To read about just one family that have benefitted enormously from their UK hosts’ generosity, head to our Do Justice website and read Anna’s story.

If there is any possibility that you may be able to offer an empty room in your home, please get in contact with us at homesforukraine@SJOG.org.uk or visit the project website at https://sjog-homesforukraine.uk/.