Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Blessed Are You if You Do It

When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.  If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.  John 13:16-17

Amen, Amen I say to you.  In our piety, let us open our ears to hear the words of Jesus spoken to us.  In our study, let those words resonate and echo in our minds, on our lips and in our hearts so that they are translated for us into apostolic action. Amen.

Right there…in one phrase of the Bible…directly from the mouth of Jesus is the entire Cursillo method.
If you understand the washing of the feet, you will understand that no messenger is greater than the one who sent him.  The notes to the New American Bible explain that this is from the Greek “apostolos.” This is the only time that word is used in the Gospel of John and it must be there for an emphatic reason.   
No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master.” (Matthew 10:24)  The disciples are not greater than Jesus.  Jesus is not greater than the Father.  Jesus kneels in the foot washing, he lowers himself again to the below the rank of humanity from his divinity.  This humble act is what we are called to emulate.  This humble act reveals how far the Father and the Son will stoop to show us that we are loved by them.
Often in studying a certain passage, I find that it is repeated in one form or another in two other Gospels.  This line from John 13:20 is echoed in all four Gospels.  Like John used apostolos only once for emphasis, the other way to flag something is by repeating it often.  If this was so important as to be repeated from John 13:20 to Matthew 10:40 to Mark 9:37 and finally to Luke 9:48, it must be REALLY REALLY VERY VERY integral to the core message Jesus taught.

Blessed are you if you humble yourself like the Lord and wash the feet of those whom you are sent to serve. Whose feet are you called to wash?  

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