When my family gathers for a dinner that marks the end of a college student’s visit or a departure by a relative, we often call it “The Last Supper.” We circle the table to share one last meal with a loved one with gratitude and a touch of sadness because we won’t be around that same table again. When Jesus gathered with his apostles on that Thursday, he was the one who knew that feast of Passover would be the last supper he would share with them. The beginning of John’s gospel today reminds me of the Jesus made man. He knew what was to come and he wanted to give these beloved friends another message, another model. So Jesus got on his knees and washed their feet. I would imagine their sandaled feet were dusty and dirty after walking the roads and paths there. The act of kneeling before each of his apostles and performing this act of humility was a powerful message then and a powerful message as it is re-enacted in liturgies today. We are all servants to each other. We owe each other dignity and respect for being the people we are, not respect for titles and exalted positions. We need to be reminded of this, perhaps more than once a year when the ritual of the washing of the feet is carried out.
In today’s second reading from Corinthians, I am reminded of Jesus as God in the Eucharist in the simple words we hear and pray every time Mass is celebrated. We share that Last Supper with the community with gratitude and humility. As I prepare for sorrow of Good Friday and the joy of Easter, I pray that I am a servant to others, that I treat all with dignity and respect. And I pray with thankfulness for the Eucharist and the communion we share .