READ: JN 13:1-15
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. 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."
The Hour has come. For the past 43 days we have been on a pilgrimage of prayer. Traveling with Jesus like the Apostles. Hearing Him speak, watching Him perform miracles, treating the broken with compassion, revealing the heart of the Father. Hopefully, we have grown to know God more fully, have even begun to love him, and can say with Peter: "We have come to believe that you are the Christ".
Now, Jesus has just celebrated the Passover with us. Given us himself, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the first Eucharist. The greatness of this moment can never be overstated. Jesus is no longer a mentor whom we follow outwardly. In the Eucharist He becomes the God we follow inwardly. Through the Eucharist and faith, our pilgrimage can continue, even into places that we could not follow him to physically. Into the mystery of Death and Resurrection, the foreign land of our own redemption and salvation.
In our gospel today he leaves us with one last mandate: the washing of feet. Let's enter into this moment with some guided meditation questions*. Take a moment to place yourself in your imagination in the upper room. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you enter fully into the moment.
Imagine yourself at the table with Jesus in the upper room. What food has been laid out? With whom are you sitting? Are you near or far from Jesus? How does room feel—relaxed or jovial or quiet or tense? How do you feel?
How do you react as Jesus rises from the table?
Can you tell what is happening in his heart as he stands? How does he feel? Does he want to serve?
How do you feel as he ties the towel around his waist and pours the water into the basin? What is moving in his heart?
To serve is to lay aside one’s own good to prioritize the good of another. To serve is to place another above ourselves, to say with our words and our actions: you take precedence.
Does Jesus kneel at your feet?
How does it feel to have the great friend kneel before you and ask to serve you?
Can you let him? What arises in your heart? Is it easy to say yes and take the sandals from your feet? Or is there a sliver of Peter’s heart in yours?
What do you say about it being easy or hard to receive his service?
This is what loving us “to the end” means: to love us into his friendship, so that we are no longer servants, but friends.
Who in your life loves or has loved you to the end?
What is it like to be the recipient of such a love?
Who do you become within such love?
What desires arise in your heart as you are loved into equality?
What do you want?
Speak with the Lord. Speak with him about how you feel about being served by him, or about how you feel kneeling at the feet of others. Speak with him in your heart with words or with deeds, as one friend speaks to another.
*these meditations are borrowed from Ignatianspirituality.com
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ. How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. Precious in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones. I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; you have loosed my bonds. To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the LORD. My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people. R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
What did God reveal to you in prayer today?
For Further Reflection: