REFLECTION FOR TODAY
April 1, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” Jn. 13:12-15
Today we celebrate Christ’s generous sacrifice and gift of himself – his body and blood – in order to save us from the power of sin and death. Christ’s institution of the Eucharist on this day reveals an event not bound by time; the same Jesus who was present with his disciples is present with us in this sacrament today. The continual presence of the Lord in our midst, and our ability to take part in the re-presentation of his sacrificial death, is God’s great gift to us.
Our gospel reference today is from the scene of the last super when Jesus instituted the Eucharist and washed the feet of his disciples. Do you want to be holy? Perhaps this question is not one that everyone will immediately answer with a resounding “Yes.” Sadly, holiness, for some, can seem boring and unattractive. The lure of evil is very enticing on a confused and superficial level. So, what is your answer to this question? Do you want to be holy?
As we begin today the sacred Triduum, we enter into the holiest days of the Church year. We walk with our Lord through His final glorification today as He celebrates the Passover with His disciples and enters the Garden of Gethsemane to await His arrest. Tomorrow we walk with Him through the stations of His Cross. On Saturday, we sit in silent adoration of His tomb as we await the Resurrection.
Jesus gives us a model for holiness by the witness of His actions. He Who is the God of the Universe, the Creator of all, the Eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, humbles Himself and takes on the form of a lowly servant by washing the feet of His disciples. He then offers them the Most Holy Eucharist for the first time, before He goes to meet His persecutors.
Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, we are unable to wash the feet this year again. This act of washing the feet of his disciple was an act of service and humility. Jesus’ example of service at the last supper was the result of his complete submission of his life to the father. As Christians we are called to be of service to our brothers and sisters.
The model Jesus gives us is a prophetic action by which Jesus tells us that true greatness, that is, true holiness, is found in humility. Holiness is realized in our lives when we turn our eyes from ourselves and love others as their servants.
None of us are the Savior of the World, but each of us must become instruments of His saving act for others. As we accept Jesus’ gift, we must then turn to others and humble ourselves before them. We must help them to see our love and their dignity. We must serve them with humility and put them first. Doing so will then enable us to invite them to imitate us as we imitate Christ. Thus, our humble imitation of Jesus becomes a means by which Jesus invites others to follow Him.
Reflect, today, upon the invitation of Jesus: “…as I have done for you, you should also do.” Jesus gave us everything, so we must give everything to others. We must serve without counting the cost. We must love them, putting their needs before ours. We must become a model of the love of Christ for them. Ponder Jesus’ service today and throughout the Triduum and commit yourself to live the invitation given you by our Lord.
Humble Lord, may Your name be praised and adored above all things. May You be exalted by Your humility and lowly service. I see in Your humble act, dear Lord, the deep love You have for me and for all. May I imitate that humble love in my own life so that my imitation of You will help to share Your saving love with others. Jesus, I trust in You.