Jn 13:1-15 Time For Some Symbolism

This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]

Holy Thursday
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…[F]ully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, [Jesus] rose from supper and took off his outer garments…and began to wash the disciples’ feet.

Fully aware that His hour had arrived, the Lord did what He does best:  He surprised His apostles.  He washed their feet and managed to give them a new commandment (to be discussed at a later time).

He washed their feet.  Human life is entirely symbolic.  Everything we do that is good, holy and right is symbolic of everything God does for us.  Everything we do that is ugly, terrifying and disgusting is symbolic of everything the devil does to us.  Our suffering is symbolic of Christ’s suffering.  Our sins are symbolic of the devil’s sins.  Our humility is symbolic of Christ’s humility.  Our pride is symbolic of the devil’s.   “There is nothing new under the sun” (cf. Ecclesiastics 9:11).

Trees are props.  The air and sky are props.  The rocks and dirt are props.  Even our families are props. Night and day are special effects.  The stage has been set by the Father.  The hour has arrived.

What comes next are some of the most dramatic scenes to ever take place on the world stage.  This story has it all:  betrayal, abandonment, rejection, humiliation, remorse, death, forgiveness, resurrection.  But before it can all happen, one thing must take place:  the washing of the disciples’ feet. 

Fully aware that His hour had come, the Lord decided to wash the feet of His men.  This is truly remarkable.  It is absolutely over-the-top.  And it is entirely symbolic.   

By physically stooping down through the incarnation, the washing our feet and the carrying our Cross, the Lord took the form of a servant and set an eternal example for each and every one of us on how we should love our brothers and sisters.   By physically stooping down and washing the feet of sinners, the Lord washed away our sins, cleansed us of all our iniquities, and suffered humiliation for our salvation.   

Every time we stoop down and choose the more humble approach towards people, we become more like Him, the servant God.  What God does for us, we should do for Him and for our brother.

I find the washing of the disciples’ feet and the carrying of their Cross as an attractive and powerful symbol of God’s unconditional love for us.  His mercy endures forever.

Now is the time for some symbolism!  Now is the time to imitate our Lord.

Stay strong and stay the course, for the end to all symbolism is fast approaching.    (62)

Fr. Alfonse (685 Posts)


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