Now He Showed How Perfect His Love Was

The Passover festival was upon us, but my thoughts transcended the physical celebration. I knew the hour had arrived for me to pass from this earthly realm to the Father. These beloved disciples, those faithful ones who had remained at my side – I saw them with eyes of perfect, consuming love. How to make them understand the unfathomable depths I was prepared to go for them?

As we gathered for the Passover meal, the bitter taste of betrayal lingered. Judas had already allowed the devil’s lies to corrupt his heart. But even his malicious scheme was just another thread woven into my Father’s sovereign tapestry. All had been placed into my hands – I who came from God and was returning to God.

Kneeling with the basin and towel before me, I began to disrobe. A profoundly humble act was needed to prepare their hearts to expand their understanding. As I washed their dusty, travel-worn feet one by one, I could sense their confusion.

Of course Peter protested first. “Lord, you shouldn’t humble yourself like this before me!” My dear friend still tried to box God’s purposes into his tiny human construct. “You can’t grasp the significance now, but you’ll understand later,” I replied gently.

When Peter stubbornly refused, it only revealed his heart’s condition, untouched by cleansing waters. “Unless I can wash away your selfishness and pride, you’ll never be able to participate in my mission.” Predictably, he then lurched the other direction – “Then wash me completely!”

As I continued shedding my garments to personally cleanse each one, I explained, “Soon all of you will be cleansed…except for the betrayer among you.” I knew Judas’ vile secret even as I tenderly washed his calloused feet. What unfathomable love to purify the one who would so brutally betray me.

My disciples sat in stunned silence as I finished the humble task and returned to the table. “Do you understand what I just did? As your Lord and Teacher, I’ve knelt as the lowliest servant to wash your feet. How much more must you tend to one another in lowly service?”

This act wasn’t just about washing feet; it was about showing them a different way of living, where serving others is more important than power or status.

How could these uncomprehending men ever grasp the suffering ahead for me, or the significance of what I had just done? Just as incomprehensible as washing their feet that night, so my life’s outpouring was still beyond their ability to fully understand. But through my actions, I hoped they would learn to live with love and humility, just as I showed them that night. (Media Team)

The text above is an adaptation of the Gospel reading for Maundy Thursday. For the actual scripture, please refer to the Catholic Daily Missal. This adaptation is intended purely as an aid for reflection.