Thursday, April 19, 2019

Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,4got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. (John 13:1b-5)

Watch his hands

Jesus takes off his outer robe, picks up a towel, ties it around his waist, lifts a pitcher and pours water in a basin and motions for his friends to sit by him.

Watch his hands. He touches and washes their feet, placing a heel in his palm and pouring water over each foot. He washes one, then another and another, until he has washed all of them, even Peter, even Judas, even those who will run away. He humbly does what only slaves could be required to do.

The moment is intense, intimate; words fall away. The only sound is the drip of water into a bowl. Jesus gives himself to his friends, lest they forget the love that pours from the Father through him and onto them.

Jesus’ hands tell us what he is doing as he allows himself to be taken and crucified. He is bathing us in a great love that makes our hearts new.

He is washing away the weight of shame and guilt, regret and sorrow, loneliness and despair. He is seeking every lost corner of our hearts where we imagine we are abandoned or of little worth.

He immerses us in an ocean of Love that we may feel the freedom of being saved and experience the radiant Spirit of Life and Love filling us.

He tells us to break bread together and wash each feet not so that we might remember him, but so we can experience him here and now, a present reality, touching us, entering our bodies, caressing and consoling our hearts with the warmth of infinite love.

In the intimate, tender acts of touching and breaking bread we share the union, the oneness, the closeness, Jesus shares with the heavenly Father that our hearts my know, truly know, the healing Presence for which we long.

Pr. David L. Miller