(Jn 13, 1-15)
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he 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.”
Fear paralyze us from time to time. But not all fears come from the same source. There are psychological fears, fear of offending the beloved, fear induced by external threats and violence, and there are fears that comes from finding out the truth and changing the way we live to adjust to such truth.
Peter may probably fall in this last category. He will not allow Jesus to wash his feet. It is not solely because he has high respect for the Lord and is therefore jealous of the Lord dignity. It is because he realized what power and authority will look like in the new dispensation that Jesus will bring. It is service and not perks and privileges. And so there is a war going inside Peter’s heart as Jesus articulates this new face of power and authority. Will he abandon his previous mindset and allow what his Master proposes ? Love won that day. Peter got converted once again.
Fr. Paulson V. Veliyannoor, CMF.