Thomas à Kempis, in Chapter IV of Book II of his masterwork, The Imitation of Christ, speaks “Of Purity of Mind and Simplicity of Intention.” Having these qualities provides an interior freedom that is the result of not having inordinate affection. Then one can more easily perform good deeds without hindrance (that is, without difficulty).
Jesus, in this famous scene at the very beginning of John’s lengthy exposition of the Last Supper (Jn 13:1-15), has Jesus washing the feet of the apostles as an example of how they are to treat one another and others. There may be no greater example of Jesus as humble teacher as in this last physical act of love and example toward His apostles so soon before His torture and death.
When we find it difficult to do a good work that we may find embarrassing or beneath our station, just remember the example Jesus gave, doing the work of servant or slave. As difficult as it can be for us, we must humble ourselves like our Master, Lord, and Teacher. I imagine the apostles in later years recalling this episode in their minds and hearts during their evangelization efforts. So should we show humility in all of our dealings with others. Humility and charity toward all provides a moving display of true Christianity to the world and softens our stony hearts, as much as anyone’s, over time.
Jesus Washes His Disciples Feet by Unknown Ethiopian Artist