Thursday, April 1, 2010

Daily - 4/1/10

Today's gospel is John 13:1-12. I've added the verses that immediately follow:

John 13

1 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.

2 The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper,

3 fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God,

4 he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist.

5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Master, are you going to wash my feet?"

7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later."

8 Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me."

9 Simon Peter said to him, "Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well."

10 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."

11 For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean."

12 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?

13 You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am.

14 If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet.

15 I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.

16 Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.

17 If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.

18 I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, 'The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.'

19 From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.

20 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."

John gives us the only account of the washing of the disciple's feet. We don't know the exact sequence of events from that night, but if you look at Luke's description of the upper room (Luke 22), you'll see that right after instituting the Eucharist, an argument broke out among the disciples about who among them was the greatest.

In my mind, I picture Christ washing the feet in response to that argument. In the midst of this argument, he gets up, strips his outer garments, bows before each of them, and washes their feet.
He tells the Twelve that nobody is greater than He is. In verse 19 he tells the apostles that he is YHWH ("I AM"). In doing that, he tells them that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -- the master of land and sea, the voice from the burning bush, the force that parted the Red Sea, the God that struck down the Pharaoh and delivered Israel from Egypt.

The God who humbles himself to death, even death on a cross.

I talk a lot about pride, and how much it permeates my life. Well ... this is the model to compare against. If Jesus can humble himself as He did, I really need to be able to swallow my pride and just serve my spouse, my children, my boss, and my friends. If I can't do that, I'm not following Him.

See you at mass tonight!