[Jesus] 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 13:12b-15)
We often hear the word “mandate” being used. When it is, it seems that it is often from the mouth of a politician who proclaims that he or she has received a mandate from the people to accomplish some task. When they speak that way, they infer that the overwhelming majority of the people want them to do something. As we all know, that may or may not be the case.
Jesus has given His people a mandate as well: wash one another’s feet. And He meant business!
By that, He does not mean to literally scrub each person’s feet. He does mean, however, that we must serve one another as He served us.
Jesus, the great teacher, the great healer, someone whom many believed might even be the Messiah, washed the feet of His disciples. They were amazed at this action. Jesus’ role, in their eyes, placed Him as a leader, not as a servant. As Jesus had done so often, though, He highlighted service, not being served.
Today we celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the beginning of the Triduum, the three holy days of Easter. At the Mass, the “mandatum” will be illustrated as the celebrant washes the feet of twelve chosen to represent the disciples. As we have been served, so we must serve.
We begin the Triduum reflecting upon service. How can we be the best of servants in all that we say and do?
FAITH ACTION: How can we “wash the feet” of another today?