Reading: …rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him… John 13:4-5.
Good morning, happy Thursday, and many blessings my dear family. Remember, today we have mass at 7:00pm.
On this Holy Thursday we hear John’s account (John 13:1-15) of the washing of the feet. John’s Gospel begins on a somber note. John states that Jesus knew that “his hour had come.” Jesus sensed that in the next few days, his life would be filled with betrayal, turmoil, pain and death. Yet, John writes that Jesus loved “his own” and he would love them until the very end.
Then Jesus does something unexpected. At the end of the Seder meal, Jesus gets up from the table and takes off his outer robe and pours water into a basin. Then Jesus kneels down and one by one, he washes the dirty and dusty feet of his disciples. When Jesus comes to Peter, Peter protests. He asks Jesus: “Do you truly intend to wash my feet?” Jesus’ response must have confused Peter. Jesus tells him that if he does not wash his feet, Peter will never have an inheritance with him. What a shock this must have been to Peter! Did Peter wonder what having his feet washed had to do with his inheritance?
Jesus promises Peter that he will understand later; can you hear him say the same to you? It is easy for us to become disappointed or diminished when we think we cannot understand as fully as we would like to. To be with Jesus in these days requires humility and patience as we await with hope, ready for fullness of truth to dawn on us in God’s time.
Jesus does not do nothing, nor does he satisfy Peter's every wish. If my prayer usually sees me sitting quietly before God, today we might change places and let me look to see how God wants to serve me, restore me, express love.
What aspect of Jesus’ behavior has been/ is an inspiration to me, to behave like him? ‘To wash one another’s feet’; how can I see this act of Jesus as an invitation to show love concretely?Like Peter, in what aspect of my life would I have greatest difficulty in letting Jesus ‘ wash my feet’? In being offered his Gospel for the Holy Thursday liturgy, is my understanding of ‘Eucharist’ changed, challenged?
In these quiet moments I imagine Jesus visiting me, chatting, and then asking for a basin, water and a towel. Surprised, I ask ‘Why?’ He says, ‘You will understand later!’ Can I let him kneel and wash my poor feet, just as they are? Am I moved, perhaps to tears, by what he does? Perhaps no one has ever done this for me since I was a child.
The themes of Holy Thursday are love and service. Jesus was the true embodiment of both love and service. Today may we be mindful of sharing one small act of love as we celebrate the great gift of love that Jesus was and is!