Commentary on the Gospel of

Mary Elizabeth Sperry - Bible Diary 2023 - Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.


Washing feet was an everyday occurrence in Israel during Jesus’ lifetime. Walking on dusty roads in sandals made it essential. This task was typically relegated to the lowliest servant in the household since it was dirty, humiliating work. Yet Jesus did this for his disciples. One line from the Gospel helps us understand how he could do this. Jesus knew that he had come from God and was going to God. Because he knew his origin and his destiny, no act of loving service could be too humble. Certain of his relationship with God, he could kneel before his disciples and wash their feet – even Judas Iscariot who would betray him.


In the same way, our relationship with God can help us find the grace we need to pour out our lives in loving service, especially to those on the margins. The margins of society are rarely comfortable, tidy places. The margins are places where we must face the messiness of life and help to bring charity, healing, and justice. We can only do that if we know that we have come from God and will return to him, a promise sealed in the Eucharist.


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