Saturday, March 26, 2011

letter to a friend: as I have loved you

      " Then he poured water into a basin and begun to wash the disciples feet,
         and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. "  (Jn 13,5)

My dear K., 

Let me fast-forward the story of Jesus until the last dinner he had with his friends.
Because he knew that the moment for him to be arrested and die was extremely close, 
and that this implied that he would not be with his friends much longer, 
he went to the essentials, to the core of his teaching, to what must be remembered.
Thus what was said and done by him at that meal is of great importance.

Three things happened at that dinner, that I would like to comment with two letters.
They are the washing of the disciples feet, the new commandment and the sharing 
of the bread and wine.   
Here is the question. Would you wash my feet? Would you let me wash yours? 
My dear friend, please take a minute to think about it, for this is not meant to be rhetorical question.

The actual washing of feet, confront us with our resistence of living with a humble heart, a heart where the Spirit of God can live. If we let her, she will make us more loving, more able to be loved, more able to creatively expand our love to everyone around us. We will become more like the triune God.

This happened in the last supper. Jesus of Nazareth - the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord, the one who's name is above every other name- took a basin and started to wash his disciples feet and dry them with a towel tied to his wrist.

Even after more than two years of knowing Jesus, the washing of the feet came as surprise to his disciples. Peter, who was always very impulsive, even rejected first to be washed at all, (and then he changed his mind and asked to be washed all of him!)

Sometimes is amazing how unclued the disciples could possibly have been about Jesus and his loving way of living. In this regard, many times we are like them. We all need to hear: if I, your Lord, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one anothers feet. I have given you an example, you should do as I have done to you.

I am very glad that in my former parish in New York we were actually able to so during the Holy Thursday liturgy in which we remember this last supper.

During the last supper Jesus continues to instruct his disciples: where I go, you cannot go, so now I say to you. I give you a new comandment: love one another as I have loved you. 

This I believe is the core of Jesus teaching.  
This is how we know who is a disciple of Jesus, by the way we love and serve one another.
Well, if you still wish... it will continue... next day with the sharing of the bread and wine. 


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