This Maundy Thursday we join the Gospel of John at Chapter 13 and witness Jesus washing his disciples' feet. Catholic Earthcare’s Director Jacqui Rémond calls us to notice the humble Jesus and his call to follow him in servant love. When she reflects on this passage, she thinks about the humility of loving the earth in light of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ which was released last year.
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him….
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
John 13.1-6, 12-16 (NIV)
If you’d like to read more of the Easter Story across the long weekend, today we’d recommend you read John 13-17.
What do we learn of Jesus’ self-understanding in this passage? How does Jesus describe himself?
What does Jesus do and instruct the disciples to do in this text?
How does Jesus’ example teach us to ‘love thy neighbour’?
Pray, that like our Lord, you might truly know who you are and might serve as Jesus does. Pray for our groaning world and for wisdom and energy for humbly loving it.
TAKE IT FURTHER
How might we and our churches humbly love our creaturely neighbours and future generations today?
Jacqui Rémond mentioned Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’. You can read it for yourself HERE. Alternatively, we made our own Encyclical for Dummies quiz to help introduce the Pope's document, test yourself & have fun checking it out!
If you'd like to explore more about climate science or what Christians think about climate change these are good places to start.
You may also want to check out our recent campaign where youth pastor Josh Hawkins begins his journey of caring for God's earth facing climate change around the proposed Shenhua coal mine.