Exodus 12:1-8,11-14 ● 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 ● John 13:1-15
Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron.
Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.
With this foot washing, Jesus isn’t simply reversing the hierarchy of his hierarchical culture. With his example, he is showing his disciples a different way—one in which no one is a master and no one has to be a slave. In Jesus’ community of friends, all are asked to serve one another and be served.
Think of a relationship you are in now in which you experience a power imbalance. Prayerfully consider if you are called to take some action to equalize the relationship. Are you being asked to wash someone else’s feet? Are you being invited to have your feet washed by another?
Reprinted with permission. For more information about this booklet and Bible translation, please see TheMessageCatholic.com.