Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 13:1-15.
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
So when he had washed their feet (and) put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.
Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Dominican tertiary, Doctor of the Church, co-patron of Europe
Dialogue, 134 (©Classics of Western spirituality, 1980)
« Then he took the cup… , saying : ‘This is my blood … which will be shed on behalf of many for the remission of sins » (Mt 26,27-28)
O Immeasurable Love! By revealing your secrets to me you have given me a bitter-sweet medicine so that I might rise up once and for all from the sickness of foolish indifference and run to you with concern and eager longing. You would have me know myself and your goodness, and the sins committed against you by every class of people and especially by your ministers, so that I might draw tears from the knowledge of your infinite goodness and let them flow as a river over my wretched self and over these wretched living dead…. Now, I beg you, be merciful to the world and to holy Church.
Alas for my wretched sorrowful soul, the cause of all evil! Do not delay any longer in granting your mercy to the world; bow down and fulfill the longing of your servants… They desire the blood in which you washed away iniquity and drained the sore of Adam’s sin. His blood is ours because you have made of it a bath for us, and you neither can nor will refuse it to those who ask for it in truth. Give, then, the fruit of this blood to these creatures of yours… They are asking you through this blood to be merciful to the world.