Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Roland Chidiebere, CMF

The act of washing the feet of the apostles exceptionally impresses me! Thinking of where the legs march on, recalling who performs this particular ritual and to whom it is administered among the Jews!! And now appreciating the new meaning our Lord communicates!!!

Just think of the cleanest and dirtiest places or objects one has ever marched on right from childhood – and particularly in the rural settings like Palestine of Jesus’ time. Mud, dust, sand could be part of what were washed off the feet of special guests who were invited to dine with their hosts. And Jesus takes upon himself the role of the servant who waits at the doorpost and therein administers the ablution upon the guests. And having served in this lowly manner, our Lord invites us to do the same: love one another as I have loved you! He leaves a completely new legacy! In the book of Deuteronomy it was love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus’ own is: do what you see me doing! We are artistically remolded by what we love! Jesus remolds us just as the poor evangelizes the missionary!

It was a very moving experience, for me, seeing the young missionary ‘doctor’ bend over this hungry old lady on the street! The doctor has laid down her life for the survival of these people: took them to hospital at night, washed their wounds, bandaged their injuries, carried out diagnoses on them, educated them on how to clean themselves as well as keep their environments neat, etc. Her life was for their well being, twenty hours of the day! And while taking one of them to the hospital at night, she was shot dead by their own community member! She died in the course of doing what she loved doing, washing the poor! Where love abides, God is there!


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