Holy Thursday Gospel reflection: How far is God willing to go for love?

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Tonight we begin a journey that takes us from the table to the cross and onward to new life lived in the shadow of that cross and in the light of the Risen Son. And so we wash feet.

What a strange time Jesus chose to wash feet — during supper! Not as they arrived; not before they ate; not even after the meal, but in the middle of it. He interrupted the meal to wash the feet of those who, by rights, should have been washing his. Jesus seems to have enjoyed turning the world upside down.

Clearly this is not about dirty feet. This action, humbling for everyone involved, reveals the meaning of the meal shared, the meaning of Jesus’ ordeal on the cross, and the meaning of life for all who set their feet on the path to eternal life in the kingdom of God. The washing of the feet, the embrace of the cross, and the plunge into the font all ask: How far are you willing to go out of love?

Our newly washed feet will have much work in the coming 72 hours: to and from the church, to and from the eucharistic table, to and from the cross, to and from the font. Washing feet at home each day — someone else’s or even our own — will keep us focused on the depth of love to which we are called.

 — Margaret Bick


Exodus 12:1–8, 11–14

Psalm 116:12–13, 15–16 BC, 17–18

1 Corinthians 11:23–26

John 13:1–15

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