Posts Tagged ‘washing feet’

Saturday, February 1, 2020

John 13:1-5: Holiness

john-of-the-cross[1]This week we have been considering the concept of betrayal – in particular betrayal by one near to us and well-loved.  Plots to kill prophets, a cherished teacher turned over to authorities by a well-respected disciple, betrayal at the deepest and most sensitive core.  Years ago a colleague wondered aloud if he ought to alert a supervisor of a co-worker’s laziness and lack of loyalty.  My thinking was that our supervisor already knew: “This will cut deeply when the truth is known,” my colleague observed.  “Yes,” I agreed, “And all the more because they have been such close friends”.  We nodded to one another in quiet understanding.  Months later the truth came to light, so did the pain, and – fortunately for all of us – the suffering was accompanied by holiness.

Robert F. Morneau writes about holiness at such a time as described by St. John of the Cross: “Essentially, this way of holiness was the doing of God’s will and a refusal to live a life of self-interest and self-indulgence.  Holiness is more than an intellectual assent to what God teaches through Scripture and the teachers in the church.  Holiness is actually doing faith, putting into action the decrees of God.  But there must be a radical awareness that one’s holiness is rooted in one’s relationship with God, fostered by prayer.  Only when disciplined prayer and the offering of one’s life in service come together are we on the road to holiness”. 

IM000314.JPGIn today’s Noontime we see Jesus as the consummate servant leader.  He not only washes his followers’ feet, he gives over his life so that they . . . and we . . . may live forever with him.  This, of course, we can easily see as holiness.  The more difficult task is to be the servant leader to even those who wish to see us fail.  We remember that Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve who lived with Jesus and then betrayed him.

Jesus knew that his hour had come . . .

He loved his own in the world, and he loved them to the end . . .  So during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power . . . Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.

Jesus, the consummate servant leader, puts his faith into action.  Radically aware of what he is meant to do, he hands over all to the Father . . . and he kneels to do the simplest of tasks.  He cleans the feet of those who follow him.  He loves his own, and he loves them to the end.  And so must we tend to those who follow us, even those who betray us . . . for this is holiness.  This is the way through and beyond the deepest betrayal.


Written on December 14, 2010. Re-written and posted today as a Favorite. 

For more on John of the Cross, click on the link or images above or go to: http://www.doctorsofthecatholicchurch.com/JC.html

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Matthew 5:5: The Inverted Kingdom – Part III


Jesus Washing the Apostles’ Feet

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jesus proposes that we forego power and wealth, pleasure and honor. Today we consider the quality of meekness that Jesus so willingly exhibits as he walks among us.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (NSRV)

This vision of the world sees gentleness as a quality of those who are close to God.

Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised! (GNT)

This picture of the world sees kindness as an essential trait of those who live by God’s design.

Those who are humble are happy. The earth will belong to them. (ICB)

Giotto: Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet

Giotto: Christ Washing the Disciples’ Feet

This view of the world sees humility as crucial to the living of God’s plan.

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. (MSG)

This picture of the world sees physical possessions as stumbling blocks to intimacy with God.

The Gospels show us how God’s Word teaches us that meekness as authentic strength. They show us that Jesus returns anger with kindness, and responds to provocation with piercing questions. They show us that the Spirit nurtures sacrifice rather than acquisition.

How do we find strength in our meekness, and courage in our kindness? How willing are we to wash the tired feet of others?

Michal Splho: Jesus washing the Feet of his Disciples

Michal Splho: Jesus washing the Feet of his Disciples

When we compare varying versions of this verse, we better understand how humility provides us with far more peace than our possessions do.

For more reflections on meekness as enacted by Jesus, enter the word in to the blog search bar and explore.

To read a reflection about meekness as strength, click on the first image above, or visit: http://blog.newadvent.org/2013/05/meekness-is-not-weakness-meekness-is.html 

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John 13:1-20: Glory, Part I – Washing Our Feet

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dirck Van Baburen: Christ Washing the Apostles' Feet

Dirck Van Baburen: Christ Washing the Apostles’ Feet

Over the next few days we will explore the mystery of Christ’s power found in humility, his love encountered in emptiness, and his leadership seen in his service. John, The Beloved Apostle, faithfully recorded Jesus’ last words and actions for his loyal and frightened followers. John leaves this recording for us that we might discover Christ’s presence among us today, Christ’s glory that lives with us still . . . even after two millennia.

Today’s lesson on Glory: We best find Jesus in the simple rather than the complex, in the overt, loving gesture, and in generous, self-serving love. 

Why do we always forget that Jesus is constantly at our side and that he is constantly washing our feet? Perhaps because he is no longer with us in a physical, three-dimensional form which we perceive with human eyes. Perhaps we must trust our senses more.

What do we do to find our spiritual eyes? Perhaps we better sense Christ in the touch, the word, the gesture of our fellow travelers, and in the presence of the miracles he is constantly performing among us. Perhaps we must listen for the whispered messages he delivers when we are confused and anxious.

What do we do when we long to touch Jesus in a very real way? Perhaps we are looking in the wrong places. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that all of creation cries out as the sustaining presence of Christ and that no matter when we are, God’s loving presence surrounds us.

In today’s Noontime we hear Jesus say to us, his disciples: What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later. These words are so true . . . and we hear them so frequently when we take our problems to that quiet spot within where the voice speaks.

When we find the place where Christ speaks and we consider what we see and hear and touch. We consider that we need not understand the complexities of God’s plan. And so we pray,

Compassionate God, hear our petitions, abide with us, wash our feet, our hearts, our minds. You promised us your peace. Send it to us today and all days as we take in the beauty of your creation, and as we learn to serve others without complaining. We ask this in your name. Amen.

Find time today to write out Jesus’ words on a slip of paper: What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later. Put this paper in your pocket and take a walk outdoors to drink in God’s message. If the weather is unpleasant, find a window with a wide view that captures at least a small portion of God’s creation for you.  Later today, spend time with the image above – or another image of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet that you prefer – and make plans to take care of yourself in some special way within the next few days, if only for a half hour. And let us remember to let Christ wash our tired and dusty feet every night before we go to bed as he so longs to do, for it is in this way that we begin to experience Christ’s glory.

Adapted from a reflection written on June 1, 2007.

Tomorrow, finding God’s glory in disappointment. 

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