Gospel: John 13:1-15
It was before the feast of the Passover. Jesus realized that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father; and as he had loved those who were his own in the world, he would love them with perfect love.They were at supper, and the devil had already put into the mind of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had entrusted all things to him, and as he had come from God, he was going to God. So he got up from the table, removed his garment, and taking a towel, wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing.When he came to Simon Peter, Simon asked him, “Why, Lord, do you want to wash my feet?”
Jesus said, “What I am doing you cannot understand now, but afterward you will understand it.” Peter replied, “You shall never wash my feet!”Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you can have no part with me.” Then Simon Peter said, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”Jesus replied, “Whoever has taken a bath does not need to wash (except the feet), for he is clean all over. You are clean, though not all of you.” Jesus knew who was to betray him; because of this he said, “Not all of you are clean.”When Jesus had finished washing their feet, he put on his garment again, went back to the table, and said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another’s feet. I have given you an example, that as I have done, you also may do.
“If I do not wash you, you can have no part with me.”As the whole nation and the group of Jesus celebrate the Passover to commemorate their ancestors’ passage from slavery in Egypt to freedom in Canaan through the Red Sea and the desert, Jesus announces that his time has come. He is about to die. The hour has come for him to pass over from this life to the Father.As they are eating the sumptuous Last Supper, the devil enters the heart of Judas. Jesus is aware that he will hand him over to his enemies. Before that happens, he washes the feet of the apostles. He wants to teach them service to the brothers. Like Jesus, his disciples must stoop down to support and strengthen one another.The disciples are nobody yet in the society. They are just members of an ordinary band who happen to follow a controversial figure. Soon they will be sought by the authorities. The disciples will survive because they will not betray one another. They will keep in their hearts the message of Jesus when he instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist. They will be in communion with one another as long as they continue gathering together for the breaking of the bread.
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