Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Jesus hinges his relationship with the Apostles on this particular act of feet-washing. St. Peter boldly refuses Christ’s direction at first, because he is still operating within the paradigm of Master-Servant of his time. He conceives himself as being inferior to the Master, and for this reason, refuses to be served by Him. Christ raises the Apostles minds to the problem that arises from this: when we become masters, we vie for this power in order to be served. Christ reverses this order of things so as to chasten man’s fallen disposition toward power and station. If Christ, who is the King of the Universe washes our feet, no one is above the task, including the leaders of His Church. It turns out that in our inability to serve God due to sin, God serves us to give us an example, and shake us out of a spirit of entitlement.
But the water poured out does not only represent a natural type of service. It represents the very blood that would be poured out of Christ to redeem the world. That is, a Divine-Love. The type of service the leaders are being asked to partake in is the type that implies laying down our lives for those who are subject our authority. A King, on the front lines. The first to die. The point of an arrow.
As priests and Bishops renew their promises throughout the world, pray for us to have the courage to internalize this teaching. In a particular way, priests are to be considered sons of the Bishop, and the Bishop is a type of Father to his whole diocese. This relationship can bring to life the very unity Christ wanted for His Church. It begins with an outpouring of our own blood, imitating the Master.