By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: March 24, 2016
March 24, 2016

Gospel JN 13:1-15
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “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.”

Reflection:

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”

Peter left all that he owned and followed Jesus for three years. He had watched the blind and the deaf, as well as the lame and the lepers humble themselves before Jesus and accept the healing that our Lord so lovingly offered.

Yet now, when Peter’s turn came to submit to receiving Jesus’ loving service, his pride comes to the surface.

Peter says to Jesus, “You will never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered Peter with an ominous warning: “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”

Why would Jesus threaten to disown Peter, the man he had chosen to lead His church, unless he submitted to having his feet washed?

Jesus saw Peter’s great faith and strength of character, but He also saw his weakness and pride.

Jesus was not looking for someone to lead His church that would simply look on the poor and downtrodden with an attitude of pity.

He wanted someone who, through their own experience of helplessness and weakness, could say, “Let me help you my friend. I know how you feel.”

Jesus was not looking for Peter to simply be sympathetic to those who were suffering; He wanted Peter to be empathetic.

And, in order for Peter to grasp what it felt like to be in need of help, he first had to submit to being served rather than always being the one who served.

Jesus knew that Peter had to learn the lesson that, although it is more blessed to give than it is to receive, it is equally true that it is more difficult to receive than it is to give.

The gift that those we serve for Christ give to us is their humble acceptance of our help.

With humility, Simon Peter says to Jesus, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”


“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:6



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