Thursday 4th Week of Easter
When a dear friend hurts us deeply as Judas hurt Jesus and we allow our Lord to take that hurt to himself to die on the cross with him, our focus moves from ourselves to the Lord.
Today Jesus is handing on to us
the power to be a servant,
especially to people who wrong us.
It is a disposition that graced the martyrs
of our Church, down through the centuries.
It’s a grace to remain in Jesus
whatever circumstance we find ourselves in.
On holy Thursday, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples,
a task reserved for a servant girl or boy,
he made himself the least significant at the table.
The same humble disposition of Jesus
empowered him to offer a piece of bread
from the same dish to Judas Iscariot
who that night would betray him.
Judas raised his heel against Jesus, that is,
he kicked Jesus when he was down,
To reveal what our heavenly Father is like,
Jesus offered Judas the bread,
a sign of intimacy and friendship.
When a dear friend hurts us deeply
as Judas hurt Jesus
and we allow our Lord to take that hurt to himself
to die on the cross with him,
our focus moves from ourselves to the Lord.
But what happens when that same person
keeps coming back
and kicking us over and over again?
The temptation is to get up and defend ourselves.
After all, we have rights; but not if we wash their feet,
not if we offer them bread from the same dish.
When persecuted for their faith, the martyrs allowed Jesus
to purify their love and make it more innocent like his.
“No messenger outranks the one who sent him.
Once you know all these things,
blessed will you be if you put them into practice.”
Of the martyrs in the early Church, St. Ignatius said,
“I am the wheat of Christ,
ground by the teeth of the beast
to become pure bread.”
When someone hurts us,
see Jesus pouring water over the feet of our persecutors
as we dry them with a towel of mercy.