“Do you realize what I have done for you?”

Going back to the very first verses of John’s account of the Last Supper (Jn 13:1-15), we find Jesus washing the feet of the apostles.  Peter initially objects, then becomes overly enthusiastic.  Jesus provides the corrective but indicates that one of them (Judas, John tells us) is unclean.  Jesus tells them that He, as their master and teacher, has provided a model for them to follow.  The question Jesus raises (above) is directed to every person who encounters this gospel.  If we do realize what Jesus has done for us, how does that affect the way we conduct ourselves?  We should have frequent recourse to Him for our personal foot washing — the wiping away of sin in the Sacrament of Confession.  We also should have an attitude toward others of humility and service.  Jesus is explicit about telling the apostles and us that this is the way we are to behave.  Consider that Jesus conveys this message just hours before the arrest, torture, and death He knew He was to endure.  Such an act was not done on a whim or to convey, before He went, some teaching He had neglected to mention to that point.  No, this is how Jesus conducted His entire life – a life of humility and service soon to be extended to all men through all time.  Jesus was sure to reinforce this in a stark and memorable way on a day that He knew would remain with the apostles and ultimately all of His followers.  May this event color our every interaction with God and neighbor so that we are always a humble, forgiving, and loving servant.

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