When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled, the one who ate my food has raised his heel against me. From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
Every Eucharistic celebration is not end in Jesus himself, rather it is leading us to the inner suffering of the Father, in the suffering and death of His only begotten son. We should understand today’s gospel from this view point, for a better Christian living, and to choose the best way to respond to the love of the Father, expressed in the death and resurrection of His Son.
As I read today's readings, I get another idea of the Christian life: the freedom that nourishes our faith. God leaves us free, as we read in the parable of the prodigal son, the Father left the older brother to make his own discernment, the same freedom he granted to his younger brother.
The relationship between a master and his disciple is not synonymous with slavery, or submission to authority. It is a relationship full of love and mercy that the disciple puts all his energy into, so that he can fulfil the will of his Master. In this love for his Master the disciple will discover the heart, the mind, the source of his Master, and will recognise the Great Master in his Master. Jesus not only reveals to us the source of His Word and of His accomplished works, but also invites us to refresh ourselves with His Father, who dwells in Him.
Action of the day: Learn to be a disciple.
«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. 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 Saint 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: “If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.” (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 ate my food has raised his heel 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 Fulgentius of Ruspe).