On Maundy Thursday, we commemorate the Washing of the Feet, based on the Gospel narrative. After Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples.
After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.John 13:4-6
One of His disciples, Peter got confused and did not understand why Jesus tried to do this to him. Peter was so hesitant and kept calling Him, Lord, Lord, Master, Master.
Perhaps, Peter thought that Jesus did a kind of sorcery to give them supernatural power and the like. It was, of course, never such kind of gimmick.
Jesus said to Peter and other disciples:
So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.John 13:12-17
The master is greater than his servants. Nevertheless, or because of that, this master should serve his servants with his sincere humility. Literally and figuratively, he has to wash the feet of his servants.
Moreover, we must see everyone and everything as our master. We must respect everyone and serve him or her with our sincere humility. We must respect everything happened and humbly learn from it. If we know the real value of such serving act, the pure, true joy will emerge within us. For, we can see Him in everyone and everything we serve.
Mother Teresa says:
The important thing is not to do a lot or to do everything. The important thing is to be ready for anything, at all time; to be convinced that when serving the poor, we really serve God.Mother Teresa (in My Own Words)
God’s primary commandment (maundy), therefore, is that we must serve everyone as He did to us. Before anything else, we must act as servants.
What Jesus did to Peter is indeed the same serving act as what this woman did to Jesus, when Peter was also nearby.
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.Luke 7:44-47
The more we serve others, the more we forgive them, and the more we love them, as He served, loved, and forgave us.
Paul also says as follows:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:5-11
The Gospel of Mark tells us:
And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.Mark 9:35
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