Today’s Gospel: John 13:1-15 – Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
It’s such a familiar image from the Holy Thursday liturgy: the priest washing the feet of the laity just as Jesus washed the feet of the Apostles after celebrating the first Eucharist.
Somehow we are all humbled as we contemplate the God-man kneeling before a human and washing his feet. How can this be? Like Peter we want to object, to claim that the Savior is above such menial, servile work. But Jesus rebukes us. “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”
For me, there are several messages here. First, if God himself would wash the feet of the Apostles, then there is no work beneath me. We must all serve others in every way we can. My children’s high school had the opportunity to clean the University of Michigan football stadium after every home game as a fundraiser. It was so easy to balk at the job. Raking other people’s garbage and bagging it felt like pretty lowly work. As my children objected, I would tell them what I also told myself. Are you too good to pick up garbage? Someone has to do it. Are you better than someone who picks up garbage? No.
But I think there is another message too. It is difficult to be the one whose feet are being washed. We must be willing to expose to the Lord all that needs cleansing within us. If we metaphorically take off our shoes and allow Him to wash us perhaps we, like Peter, will also have a share with Him.
Am I willing to serve others in any way the Lord asks? And am I willing to have Jesus wash what needs cleansing in me?
Lord, please grant us the humility to serve others with love. And may we be willing to expose to You all the parts of our souls that need Your cleansing touch.
Copyright 2019 Rosemary Bogdan
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