First Reading: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 116
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel: John 13:1-15
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? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (Jn 13:12-15)
Have you ever tried to put together a puzzle without looking at the picture? Sure you may be able to get it done, but it is much harder to do because you are not even sure what the picture is supposed to look like. It is hard to figure some of the color patterns or specific things that are inside the picture. A puzzle is always easier when we can see what the finished product is supposed to look like. By looking at the puzzle image on the box, we get a special view of the "big picture", which helps us see what we are supposed to do.
Today is Holy Thursday, and the readings at the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper tell us how Jesus washed His disciples feet. After doing this great act of service, He tell them that He has given them a model to follow, so that they too can go forth and wash the feet of others. Jesus could have just instructed them, and told them "I want you to go out and serve others, humbling yourself and washing their feet." While we know it would have been good advice, it also would not have been nearly as powerful if He had just told the disciples. By actually washing the disciples feet, Jesus gave them an example to follow, He helped them to see the "big picture."
Jesus invites us in to see the big picture, and to go out and wash the feet of others. This model of serving is one that we would be very wise to follow, because humbling ourselves and serving both the Lord and others is how we will find ourselves. May we always remember that by losing our life to Him, we gain everything.
Father above, we thank you for this day. Lord, thank you for your great love and mercy. Thank you for giving us life, help us not to waste it on ourselves, but rather use it to serve you and others. Lord, we know that you do not need us, but rather that you want us with you. You are our kind, loving, gentle Father; help us to find our lives in you. We pray for the conversion of all sinners during this Holy Week. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.