After Jesus had washed the feet of the disciples He said «Truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than he who sent him. Understand this, and blessed are you if you put it into practice. I am not speaking of you all, because I know the ones I have chosen and the Scripture has to be fulfilled that says, ‘The one who shared my table has risen against me’ I tell you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may know that I am He. Truly, I say to you, whoever welcomes the one I send, welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me, welcomes the One who sent me».
If there is something that the disciples have recalled fondly after the resurrection is this very moment of sharing the bread and in the heart of this sharing Jesus has placed the service. The washing of the feet is placed as the centre of this breaking of the bread. It is certainly very clear that Jesus is as the service of the will of the Father. Mint time Jesus reminded his disciples to understand the importance of the accomplishment of the divine will, for Him, and for the society.
It is from here that Jesus forms and sends His disciple in mission. This divine preparation will be recalled later, when the disciples themselves would call this very sharing of the Word of God in the breaking of the bread, like the disciples of Emmaus, as a heart burning and joyful moment of life.
Paul and all those who accompanied him will share with the people this joy of the divine accomplishment in Jesus, certainly, without judging others. Jesus knew that our enemy reminds not outside of us, rather in us. This is the crude and painful truth that He teaches today. The devil always tries to put the darkness in our heart that even if the sun remains bright outside, the devil doesn’t allow the light to enter into us.
Unless and until we discover the Holy Spirit that God has sent to us, it’s very difficult to understand the salvific plan that God has accomplished in Christ. Unless and until we discover and accept the Christ crucified, we will never be able to understand how much God loves us in Christ.
«After Jesus had washed the feet of the disciples...»
Fr. David COMPTE i Verdaguer
(Manlleu, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, as with those movies that, at the beginning, take us back in time, our liturgy remembers a passage that belongs to the Holy Thursday: Jesus washes the feet of his disciples (cf. Jn 13:12). Thus, this gesture —read from the Easter perspective— recovers a perennial validity. Let us consider only three ideas.
In the first place, the centrality of the person. In our society it seems that to do is the thermometer to measure a person's worth. Within this dynamic it is easy for people to be considered as tools; we use each other extremely easy. Today, the Gospel urges us to transform this dynamic into service dynamics: the other party will never be just a tool. It would rather be a matter of living a spirituality of communion, where the other one —quoting John Paul II— becomes “someone that belongs to me” and a “gift to me”, whom we have “to give room” to. In our language we could translate it as “to care about other people's feelings”. Do we care about other people's feelings? Do we listen to them when they speak to us?
In our world of image and communications, this is not a message to transmit, but a job to be done, to live up to every day: «and blessed are you if you put it into practice!» (Jn 13:17). Maybe, this is why the Master does not limit himself to an explanation: He imprints into his disciples' memory his gesture of service, to pass it immediately on to the Church's memory; a memory that we demand to become a gesture, time and again: in the lives of so many families, of so many people.
Finally, a warning signal: «The one who shared my table has risen against me» (Jn 13:18). In the Eucharist, Jesus resurrected becomes our servant, He washes our feet. But the physical presence is not enough. We have to learn in the Eucharist and get the necessary strength from so that it may become a reality that «having received the gift of love, we die to sin and we live for God» (Saint Fulgence, Bishop of Ruspe).