Thursday, April 09, 2009
I have given you a model to follow
Today is Holy Thursday, the first day of that most powerful of times, the triduum, the pinnacle of Lent and of the entire liturgical year. One of the special things that happens during Holy Thursday mass is the washing of the feet, following the example Christ himself gave. This beautiful tradition reminds us of our baptismal commitment to be servants to one another. It is truly an act of humility, and it's deeply touching to see priests and bishops worldwide humbling themselves as Christ did, kneeling down and washing the feet of members of their flock. May we take this message of humility to heart and strive to follow Christ's example of deepest humility!
So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Master, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later." Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well."
Jesus said to him, "Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all." For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean."
So when he had washed their feet (and) put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. (Jn 13:2-15)