Grace: To ask for a felt knowledge of Jesus’ desire to give Himself entirely to me, in love.
Text for Prayer: John 13:1-30
Reflection: The Last Supper – this is the last great moment of intimacy of Jesus with His Apostles, and at the same time the saddest, most convoluted time of Jesus’ betrayal. It is a rich scene of thirteen friends gathered in an upper room for the Passover meal. Yet the Last Supper bears a double seal, of the most near friendship and of the most immense sadness. Imagine what might have been going through Our Lord’s mind as He prepared Himself and His Apostles for what awaited Him, knowing one of His own would betray Him.
Yet, in the midst of all this – Christ chooses to wash the feet of His Apostles. Our King is the king who came to serve. Moreover, this most humble gesture happens before Judas leaves to betray the Lord; Jesus washes the feet of Judas this very night. Yes, Jesus washes the feet of Judas himself.
Could we ask for a more powerful demonstration of the fidelity and the love of Christ, no matter what kind of sin and betrayal He is offered by humans? This is an image worth pondering. The love of Christ reaches even beyond the malice of Judas.
On this same night, Jesus institutes the Eucharist. The sacrifice He will make on the Cross on Good Friday He anticipates giving, He desires so much to love us. Jesus is clear, “This is My Body. This is My Blood.” At each Mass we receive this same Jesus, just as He gave Himself to His Apostles. Our Lord makes Himself substantially present in the Eucharist, present in every host just as He was in the bread St. Peter, St. John, St. Andrew, and all the others received that night.
What a wondrous fact to consider. The Eucharist, the Mass, is the single greatest gift Jesus gave us and the source and summit of our life in the Church. Through the power of the priest, the whole work of salvation is made present again. Jesus comes not only to wash our feet, but our very souls in every celebration of the Eucharist. It is the most direct testament of His love that we have. Can we open ourselves more generously to this remarkable outpouring of Jesus’ Eucharistic and Sacred Heart?
As always, choose and remain with that part of the reading or reflection which most helps you move toward the particular grace you seek.
Questions: Can I accept the extraordinary charity which Our Lord shows Judas this night? In what ways am I called to extend charity even to ones whom I know do not love me or could betray me?
Do I prepare well to receive Jesus in the Eucharist? In what way can I more fully appreciate the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist at the next Mass I attend? At every Mass?
Do I truly desire my heart to be conformed to the Heart of My Master, suffering and pierced for love of all?