Daily Meditation: "After Jesus had washed the feet of the disciples..."
Gospel text (Jn 13,16-20):
After Jesus had washed the feet of the disciples He said "Truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than he who sent him. Understand this, and blessed are you if you put it into practice. I am not speaking of you all, because I know the ones I have chosen and the Scripture has to be fulfilled that says, ‘The one who shared my table has risen against me’ I tell you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may know that I am He. Truly, I say to you, whoever welcomes the one I send, welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me, welcomes the One who sent me".
"After Jesus had washed the feet of the disciples..."
Today, as with those movies that, at the beginning, take us back in time, our liturgy remembers a passage that belongs to the Holy Thursday: Jesus washes the feet of his disciples (cf. Jn 13:12). Thus, this gesture —read from the Easter perspective— recovers a perennial validity. Let us consider only three ideas.
In the first place, the centrality of the person. In our society it seems that to do is the thermometer to measure a person's worth. Within this dynamic it is easy for people to be considered as tools; we use each other extremely easy. Today, the Gospel urges us to transform this dynamic into service dynamics: the other party will never be just a tool. It would rather be a matter of living a spirituality of communion, where the other one —quoting John Paul II— becomes “someone that belongs to me” and a “gift to me”, whom we have “to give room” to. In our language we could translate it as “to care about other people's feelings”. Do we care about other people's feelings? Do we listen to them when they speak to us?
In our world of image and communications, this is not a message to transmit, but a job to be done, to live up to every day: "and blessed are you if you put it into practice!" (Jn 13:17). Maybe, this is why the Master does not limit himself to an explanation: He imprints into his disciples' memory his gesture of service, to pass it immediately on to the Church's memory; a memory that we demand to become a gesture, time and again: in the lives of so many families, of so many people.
Finally, a warning signal: "The one who shared my table has risen against me" (Jn 13:18). In the Eucharist, Jesus resurrected becomes our servant, He washes our feet. But the physical presence is not enough. We have to learn in the Eucharist and get the necessary strength from so that it may become a reality that "having received the gift of love, we die to sin and we live for God" (Saint Fulgence, Bishop of Ruspe).
Fr. David COMPTE i Verdaguer
(Manlleu, Barcelona, Spain)
Audio: Thursday 4th of Easter