This is part of the reading from The Mass of the Lord’s Supper celebrated on Holy Thursday each year. What strikes me the most about this particular passage is that it makes it abundantly clear that Jesus knew several things:
This is astounding! And not because Jesus knew all this, nor that He is God, nor that He could’ve said no. But what is so amazing is that knowing all that He is and all that was going to happen, He got on His knees and washed the FEET of His followers. And while the focus is normally on St. Peter at this moment because of the conversation he has with Jesus, think about the absurdity of the fact that Jesus washed the feet of JUDAS as well. Of course Jesus revealed the depth of His love when He died on the cross the next day, but we should be overcome with how He knew everything and still got on His holy knees to wash the feet of the one who was going to betray Him a few hours later.
What do the actions of Jesus say to us? That no matter what we have done, no matter how far we have wandered, He loves us and He wants us back. He is not standing in the throne room of heaven waiting to condemn us and send us to hell. Rather, Jesus runs to you and me and seeks to wash our feet and put on a clean robe and kill the fatted calf for us if we would see the errors of our ways and turn back to Him.
Are you in need of new life? If Jesus could conquer pride through the humility of washing feet, if He could conquer betrayal by loving His enemies, if He could conquer torture and mockery through silent witness and if could conquer death through resurrection, then He can produce newness in your life as well. And what should this new life produce in us? A willingness to be more and more like Jesus; to cooperate with the grace He merited for us on the cross and to bring new life to others. Despite how we might normally think and act, we are not the center of the universe and the world does not revolve around you and me. But it does revolve around the cross of Christ. And the more we become humble, prayerful and less concerned for ourselves than for others, the sooner the Kingdom of God will be built up in our world through the power of Jesus living in us.
Dear Jesus, help me to humble myself as You did, to wash the feet of those around me, especially the ones I struggle with or the ones who have hurt me. Despite how hard Your way of life seems, I want to follow You, Jesus and bring new life to others. Amen.