Today, my brothers and sisters, we enter into the Paschal Triduum, and we enter that celebration with this solemn memorial of the institution of the Lord’s Supper. Holy Thursday also bears with it many other theological significances. All of them are very important… and yet today, all of them are irrelevant.
On the night before Jesus dies, as he prepares for a final meal with his disciples, he stoops down to wash the feet of those who have gathered with him in the Upper Room. In this act of unabashed humility, Jesus demonstrates in a profoundly personal way what his mission on earth is all about.
On the eve of the ultimate confrontation between good and evil, between hope and sorrow, between death and life, Jesus Christ demonstrates that everything he does is pervaded by a love that knows no bounds. None.
The Creator Word and God of Majesty stoops down with pitcher, basin, and towel to wash the dirty, gnarly feet of his disciples; because for God, nothing is more important that showing that he will go to any length to bridge the chasm that exists between him and his creation by virtue of the fall of Adam and Eve.
In the face of the hatred, cruelty, sinfulness, and brokenness of the world, the Jewish leadership, the Roman occupiers, and yes, even in the face of the Devil himself, Jesus ministers simple service and love and demonstrates them as the means to overcome every obstacle that would stand in the way of a new and eternal life with him.
What more is there to say?
What more needs to be said?
If perfect love casts out fear, then the image of Christ washing the feet of his disciples in one final, personal, quiet act of loving service to his disciples… his closest friends… and even his betrayer! should cast our own fears as far away from our minds as the Father casts our sins from us.
The Foot Washing… simple service in the face of unrelenting hatred.
Let us listen.
Let us learn.