Maunday Thursday year ’A’ Jeudi saint, année ’A’

“So if I, the Lord and Master, wash your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet.”
Saturday 11 February 2017

Ex.12,1-8.11-14 Ps.115 1 Co.11,23-26 Jn.13,1-15

Maunday Thursday

"Before the Passover knowing that his hour had come for him to pass from this world to the Father, having loved his own in this world, Jesus loved them right to the end. During the meal, whereas the devil had put it into the heart of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had placed everything into his hands, that he came from God and was going to God, got up from table, put down his outer garment, picked up a cloth and tied it to his bel ; next he poured water into a bowl. Then he began to wash his disciples’ feet with a towel attached to his belt."   We come to the first day of the Easter Triduum, Jesus reveals two wings- love and humility- which allow us to move ahead into the Eternal Kingdom of God the Father. Jesus announces the total Gift of his Person for the salvation of humanity and for His Fathers’ glory. He gives his Body and Blood to share, these are the supreme premises of the supreme act of Love that is his Crucifixion. Jesus washes their feet for the disciples, thus introducing them into the great virtue of humility. He takes off his clothing, announcing to us already that his clothes will be taken from him at the Crucifixion, he announces also by this the shedding away of his bod of flesh so as to rise in a Glorious Body. If in Jesus’ time this gesture was a normal one, this task was for the household servant to do. To Peter’s astonishment, Jesus turns into a servant, bending down with a humiliating gesture so base, washing the dusty feet of the disciples and then wiping them dry. Jesus doesn’t hesitate for a moment, his whole life is oriented for this. As for his disciples, Jesus prepares us for the Gift of the Eucharist which will b given to us, so that we may have enough courage to enter into Jesus’ Passion. “So He came to Simon Peter and said ’Is it you Lord who wash my feet?’ Jesus answered him ’What I am doing you cannot understand now: you shall understand later.” Peter said to him ’You shall never wash my feet, no, never!’ Jesus replied ’Iff I can’t wash your feet I don’t have anything to do with you.’ Simon peter then said ’If that’s so, the, Lord wash not only my feet but my hands and had too!’ Jesus told him ’When one has just taken a bath, there is no need to wash, only one’s feet, for one is totally pre. You too re pure, but not all of you.’ We see how Peter refuses Jesus’ gesture, yet he ends up accepting it when Jesus lets him know clearly that he won’t have anything to do with him. By this act of the washing of his disciples’ feet, Jesus invites his disciples to enter into an attitude of humility which will help them enter into God’s Kingdom. So we can desire to rid ourselves of our inferiority complex so as to accept to serve others joyfully and to be allow ourselves to be served by them, in an act of reciprocal humility. At the Last Supper, Jesus gratifies his disciples with the mysterious Presence of the Eucharist. When eh is washing their feet he is turning around all the concepts we may have concerning service, he transforms them from top to bottom. By this act of the washing of the feet Jesus reveals to us how te greatest humility resides in the fact of being empty of ourselves in order to touch God’s ineffable grace.   "He knew quite well who would give him up, this is why he said ’Not all of you are pure.’ When he had washed their feet, he took up his garments, sat down at table and told them ’Do you understand what I have just done for you? You call me ’master ’ and ’Lord’ and so I am. So if I, the Lord and Master wash your feet, you too must wash each others’ feet. I have given you this example so that you too do as I have done.’   This gesture was not before or after the meal , but during the meal. In this way he shows how this last supper is truly important. In washing all of his disciples’ feet, including those of Judah, Jesus wishes to have them enter into the Love of the Father which He came to reveal. The gesture of the washing of the feet has the disciples enter into the mystery of the Cross that is looming, thus giving it all its meaning. With Jesus we enter into the New Covenant with Jesus in the opening up of an Incredible Love.  It is a prolongation of the washing of the feet that Jesus takes the Bread, pronounces the Blessing and says ’Take, all of you and eat; this is my Body given up for you.’ Jesus will save us by His Passion, Death and Resurrection, by the victory of Love over any kind of violence. Jesus will rise in his Body of Glory, in the Body Mary had woven for Him. Jesus invites us to let us have our feet washed by Him, to be attentive to Him and to listen to Him, to look at Him and to let ourselves serve. It is He who acts in our lives, we contemplate Him at the Cross, where His Love shows us it goes right to the end.

We ask therefore for the grace to understand the Love of Jesus’ Heart, to be close to our sisters and brothers.