Thursday 4th Week of Easter
Today Jesus is teaching us the power to be a servant
especially to people who wrong us.
It is this disposition that graces us to remain in him.
He washed his disciples’ feet, the task of a servant girl or boy,
literally a nobody with little or no rights.
This Master made himself the least significant at the table.
This humble disposition empowered Jesus
to offer a piece of bread from the same dish to Judas,
who that night would betray him.
If Jesus saw himself superior to Judas, as the world thinks,
it would be crazy for him to offer Judas the piece of bread.
Judas raised his heel against Jesus, that is,
he kicked Jesus when he was down.
But he still 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 him.
But what happens when that same person
keeps coming back and kicking us over and over?
The temptation is to get up and defend ourselves
(except in cases where his life is threatened).
After all, we have rights; but not if we wash their feet,
not if we offer them bread from the same dish.
Like our Lord Jesus we look at “our Judas”
with a merciful outlook.
That is, we look to find Jesus who is hidden under all the pain
that is expressed through their anger towards us.
This is the love of Jesus going to the cross to save mankind.
The martyr in the early church, St Ignatius said,
“I am the wheat of Christ, ground by the teeth of the beast
to become pure bread”.
People are not always going to change because we do.
But that doesn’t mean we revert back to our old ways.
Stay the course with Jesus. Let them grind away.
Each time they hurt you, get out your bowl
and start washing their feet.
Become their Bread of Eternal Life. ”
Love one another as I have loved you.”