This is the opening passage of today’s gospel: 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.’
In this Jesus is saying that we must serve the needs of others in fraternal charity and in so doing, we will find true happiness. The following is a related reflection from Dr Micha Jazz and Premier Christian Media.
The picture of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet is perhaps characterised as a beautiful picture of servanthood. Yet, it stands for so much more. On the eve of the crucifixion, it provides a practical image for the way in which the cross and the resurrection of this Servant will cleanse the world of the power of evil. This can only be to the extent to which Jesus’ disciples themselves tie a towel around their waist as a sign that they will roll up their sleeves and humbly serve the needs of a broken world.
All of us carry signs of this broken world. Our lives can be interrupted with the unanticipated problems that life scatters in our path, our emotional and psychological state blighted through the abuse we encounter and endure. As such, a spiritual director may approach a person with fresh clean water to wash the dust of life’s road from their feet. It is a space in which the director can point both to the cross and beyond to the redemptive message of Easter hope that forever flourishes in a field of hopelessness.
Finding God within the injustice of this world of pain is at times to search for a needle in a haystack. Making sense of my life is of little benefit in my pursuit of God. I have no answers as to why Katey and I did not have children. I know not why our marriage ended too soon as Katey battled MS and lost, why Jayne was abandoned, seven months pregnant, by her husband, or why Jayne and her daughter both came to live with Katey and me.
With hindsight I can create a victory report by joining the dots – yet it is not a matter of ‘live happy ever after’ as Jayne deals with a severe chronic pain condition. However, I do know that Jesus’ victory empowers me to live within the kingdom of God which will forever far outshine the kingdom of this world.
QUESTION: Are you willing to get involved in the needs of a broken world?
PRAYER: Lord, in a world filled with pain and hurt, may your Church be agents of peace, love and hope.