Holy Thursday Meditation

When the time for his Passion draws near and Jesus wants to illustrate his kingship in a very vivid way, he makes a triumphant entry into Jerusalem, mounted on a donkey! It had been written that the Messiah was to be a king of humility: 'Tell the daughter of Sion: Behold your king comes to you, meek and seated on an ass, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'

Now it is the Last Supper. Christ has prepared everything to bid farewell to his disciples, while they, for the umpteenth time, have become embroiled in an argument about which one of the chosen group is to be considered the greatest. Jesus then 'rising from supper, laid his garments aside, took a towel and put it about him. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of his disciples, wiping them with the towel that girded him.'

Once again he preaches by example, by his deeds. In the presence of the disciples, who are arguing out of pride and vanity, Jesus bows down and gladly carries out the task of a servant. Afterwards, when he returns to the table, he explains to them: 'Do you understand what it is I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and you are right, it is what I am. Why then, if I have washed your feet, I who am the Master and the Lord, you in your turn ought to wash each other's feet.' This tactfulness of Our Lord moves me deeply. He does not say: 'If I do this, how much more ought you to?' He puts himself at their level, and he lovingly chides those men for their lack of generosity.

As he did with the first twelve, so also, with us, Our Lord can and does whisper in our ear, time and again, exemplum dedi vobis, I have given you an example of humility. I have become a slave, so that you too may learn to serve all men with a meek and humble heart.

This is an excerpt from Friends of God by St. Josemaria Escriva.