Scriptures: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-15
As we begin our celebration of the Sacred Paschal Triduum we commemorate the gift of the Eucharist that has been to the Church by Jesus, and, we commemorate the example that Jesus has placed before as to how we are to live. The gift of the Eucharist, which has been faithfully celebrated down across two thousand years cannot be separated from the washing of the feet. They are inseparable aspects of the Christian life. We are called to celebrate Eucharist, to be nourished in Word and Sacrament, in order that we might have the grace and strength to go out and wash each other’s feet.
I’m not suggesting that we go out and set up a feet washing clinic on the roadside – but we all know exactly what we are called to do, right?
And the example that we have been given is clear: if Jesus, the Lord and Master, is prepared to remove his clothes, get down on his knees, and wash his disciples’ feet, then we are called to do exactly the same. We are set an example of service, to our brothers and sisters who are also part of the Body of Christ…and to those who are not yet or no longer members of the Body, in order that they might have the opportunity to experience the love of God made manifest in Jesus.
And in order that we might have the grace and strength to live this example, Jesus, after he had finished washing the feet of his disciples, took bread and wine, blessed and gave it to his friends as a promise and sign that he would be with them always. And all because he loved his disciples. We heard it at the beginning of tonight’s Gospel: “He had always loved those who were his in the world, but now he showed how perfect his love was”.
That’s what we celebrate over the Three Holy Days: God’s love for us. A love that is made manifest each time we gather to do as he commands us. A love revealed each time we reach out to others and wash their feet, even metaphorically. A love that took Jesus to the Cross, to the Tomb, and to the Resurrection…all because God loves us.