Prayer of the Day
Holy ThursdayApril 2nd, 2015
John’s account of the Last Supper differs in many details from the Synoptics. Matthew, Mark and Luke give us a detailed account of the institution of the Eucharist on the eve of the Passion of Jesus, Holy Thursday. John has already dealt with the subject of the Eucharist very thoroughly in chapter 6 of his Gospel. His version of the Last Supper concentrates on the very important words and actions of Jesus just before his suffering and death. In today’s extract we are given the washing of the feet episode. As sandalled feet tended to get dusty on unpaved roads, the usual hospitality consisted of providing water for guests to wash their feet. The washing of the feet is a symbolic action in which Jesus manifests the spirit of humble self-giving love, the same love which will motivate his willing acceptance of his passion and death on the cross. He will willingly lay down his life for his friends. With his usual lack of perception Peter is shocked. He refuses to allow Jesus to wash his feet. Jesus explains that this washing is necessary. Later after the resurrection Peter and the others will understand. The washing is also a symbol for Christian living. Jesus, the “master” has done something which expresses the kind of self-giving service disciples should offer one another.