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APRIL 29. EASTER. Wk.4. Thu. Jn. 13. 16-20

Updated: Aug 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?

Gospel Acclamation cf.Rv1:5

Alleluia, alleluia!

Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness, firstborn from the dead;

you have loved us and washed away our sins in your blood.


First reading Acts 13:13-25

God has raised up one of David's descendants, Jesus, as Saviour

Paul and his friends went by sea from Paphos to Perga in Pamphylia where John left them to go back to Jerusalem. The others carried on from Perga till they reached Antioch in Pisidia. Here they went to synagogue on the sabbath and took their seats. After the lessons from the Law and the Prophets had been read, the presidents of the synagogue sent them a message: ‘Brothers, if you would like to address some words of encouragement to the congregation, please do so.’ Paul stood up, held up a hand for silence and began to speak:

‘Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen! The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors, and made our people great when they were living as foreigners in Egypt; then by divine power he led them out, and for about forty years took care of them in the wilderness. When he had destroyed seven nations in Canaan, he put them in possession of their land for about four hundred and fifty years. After this he gave them judges, down to the prophet Samuel. Then they demanded a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin. After forty years, he deposed him and made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”’

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