Thursday, April 18, 2019

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done…….We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” ― Tagore: (1861 –1941: was Indian polymath, poet, & musician)

Gospel Text: (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."

We see in the Gospel that even though he is teacher and master and God, he still serves. He washes the feet of his disciples. He takes a towel and a water basin and washes the road dust and dirt from the feet of these men who have walked long distances in sandals. Peter is embarrassed. This is a more private act, or an act for a servant to be doing for a master, not the other way around. But Jesus is turning things around. The greatest will be the least, and the least will be the greatest. He is the greatest, but he performs a very lowly, but very intimate act by washing the feet of his friends. And by this example, tells them what it means to “love each other as I loved you.”  They must serve, not stand above or apart. Not pontificate or set themselves up as authorities, but be there in the trenches with others. Jesus gave his body and blood, gave his life, and washed their feet. Rinsed their dirty, smelly, feet, then wiped them with a towel. Touched them. Jesus loved us by being born a baby, a human baby, growing up, healing people, helping people, knowing people. And then dying for us all. Through his life, through the Eucharist, through his death he showed his love for us in his intimacy, in becoming man, and in dying. We can show our love for him by showing our love for each other. We can heal people, help people, know people, and through that, know and love God.

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