Gospel: Jn 13:1-15
It was before the feast of the Passover. Jesus realized that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father; and as he had loved those who were his own in the world, he would love them with perfect love.
They were at supper, and the devil had already put into the mind of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had entrusted all things to him, and as he had come from God, he was going to God. So he got up from the table, removed his garment, and taking a towel, wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing.
When he came to Simon Peter, Simon asked him, “Why, Lord, do you want to wash my feet?” Jesus said, “What I am doing you cannot understand now, but afterward you will understand it.” Peter replied, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you can have no part with me.” Then Simon Peter said, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”
Jesus replied, “Whoever has taken a bath does not need to wash (except the feet), for he is clean all over. You are clean, though not all of you.” Jesus knew who was to betray him; because of this he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When Jesus had finished washing their feet, he put on his garment again, went back to the table, and said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another’s feet. I have given you an example, that as I have done, you also may do.
Fear paralyzes us from time to time. But not all fears come from the same source. There are psychological fears, fear of offending the beloved, fear induced by external threats and violence, and there are fears that comes from finding out the truth and changing the way we live to adjust to such truth. Peter may probably fall in this last category. He will not allow Jesus to wash his feet. It is not solely because he has high respect for the Lord and is therefore jealous of the Lord’s dignity. It is because he realized what power and authority will look like in the new dispensation that Jesus will bring. It is service and not perks and privileges. And so there is a war going inside Peter’s heart as Jesus articulates this new face of power and authority. Will he abandon his previous mindset and allow what his Master proposes? Love won that day. Peter got converted once again.