APRIL 29. EASTER. Wk.4. Thu. Jn. 13. 16-20
Updated: Apr 29
After he had washed the feet of his disciples, Jesus said to them:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
no servant is greater than his master,
no messenger is greater than the man who sent him.
‘Now that you know this, happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly.
I am not speaking about all of you: I know the ones I have chosen;
but what scripture says must be fulfilled:
Someone who shares my table rebels against me.
‘I tell you this now, before it happens,
so that when it does happen
you may believe that I am He.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me,
and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.’
Jesus, our God-given Teacher, had just given his disciples the gift of the Eucharist and then washed their feet, in what must be one of his most potent teachings, so we have to reflect on what he is teaching us; - and he guides us himself in today’s reading; - giving a profound lesson in the need to submit to God’s Wisdom, and to practice Humility.
“I tell you most solemnly, no servant is greater than his master, no messenger greater than the man who sent him.” This is the “lesson” Christ wants us to ponder, where the Son of God not only disrobes and washes the feet of his disciples, but he also remains with us under the form of bread; - thus renouncing any desire for worldly recognition, status, or “success!”
The Eucharist and washing of the feet are lessons in renunciation of desire and ambition; - a hard lesson to learn, as we all have inbuilt inclinations to satisfy our desires or attain success.
And if the washing of the feet was not enough, Christ then indicates another example where he would again renounce his own will and desires; - when “someone who shares my table will rebel against me”; - and he would be betrayed by a close friend; - also the Will of God!
So as soon as the supper was over Christ prepared himself for the ultimate renunciation of his own will; - where he would sacrifice his life on a Cross; - because it is the Will of the Father; - ‘I tell you this now, before it happens, so when it does happen you may believe I am He’,
In telling his disciples in advance he was also bearing witness to being the Son of God; - after which he alludes to the Father’s plan to establish a Church, following his Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection: “I tell you most solemnly, whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”
The many lessons Christ taught, both here and during his earthly life, were not just for his disciples, but were to be passed on to the multitudes of who would follow, and in this short but powerful statement Christ is stating those who welcome his teachings; - via his Church, and the Gospels; - were welcoming him, and in doing so, welcoming the Father into their lives; - a truth that remains highly relevant to the life of Christians today?