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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Thursday - Jesus Washes the Feet of the Disciples

Holy Thursday
Last Supper
Jesus Washes the Feet of the Disciples

Jesus performs for his disciples the service of a slave when he “rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and tied a towel around himself.  Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him” (John 13:4-5).
“Unlike Adam who had tried to grasp divinity for himself, Christ moves in the opposite direction, coming down from his divinity into humanity, taking the form of a servant and becoming obedient even to death on a cross (Philippians 2:7-8) – all this is rendered visible in a single gesture. Jesus represents the whole of his saving ministry in one symbolic act. He divests himself of his divine splendor; he, as it were, kneels down before us; he washes and dries our soiled feet, in order to make us fit to sit at table for God’s wedding feast. When we read in the Book of Revelation the paradoxical statement that the redeemed have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:14), the meaning is that Jesus’ love “to the end” is what cleanses us, washes us. The gesture of washing feet expresses precisely this: it is the servant-love of Jesus that draws us out of our pride and makes us fit for God, makes us “clean”.… If man is to enter God’s presence, to have fellowship with God, he must be “clean”. Yet the more he moves into the light the more he senses how defiled he is, how much he stands in need of cleansing.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, pg. 56- 57)

The Jewish Passover and the Catholic Eucharist

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Jesus Washes the Feet of the Disciples - Vincenzo Civerchio

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