Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spirituality: John Predmore, S.J.

When Jesus heard the words of deliverance spoken at the Passover meal, he knew God would stand by him during his arrest and Passion. He knew fundamentally God loved him. All his actions therefore would be acts of love. 

Though he suffered torment in the Garden because he did not want to die, he made sure he would be known for his goodness. He is filled with sadness that he will be betrayed and denied by those who know better. Betrayal by a close friend or family member hurts deeply in his soul, but God’ steadfast presence helps him go outside himself to love those who turn away from him. We would pity ourselves or want to take revenge, but God’s love helps us do things we would not otherwise do. 

During the meal, he rises from his chair to wash the feet of his close friends, and some resist, but it is his moment of intimacy with them. He honors them, even his betrayer, in great humility. It is tender and affectionate and it makes no sense, and it is what we are commanded to do in memory of him. 

Consider how much he wants to wash your feet. Too many people turn away from getting their feet washed. Too many people turn away from Jesus who wants to help them. Too many people want to do things on their own – too much pride in themselves. Yet, the problem is: there are not enough feet to wash. As many as are here, we still need more. We want to be able to wash the feet of everyone who comes to us. There are not enough feet before us. It is our job to bring the tender mercy of Christ to others – to ask others if we can tend their wounds. We need them to say “yes,” so they join us as the table of deliverance. There are too many empty seats and all are invited. Let us honor Jesus tonight by bringing more people to his gentle hands that will care for them tenderly. Let us stay with him as he sets out to free us for his greater love.