The Disruption of a Christian Life
Daily Reflection – 5/16/19
When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me. From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” ( John 13:16-20)
John’s Gospel today takes us back to the Last Supper. Jesus has just washed the feet of the apostles. He tells them: “…no slave is greater than his master; no messenger outranks the one who sent him. Once you know all these things, blest will you be if you put them into practice”
It can be said that Jesus came to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. In washing the apostles’ feet, he gave the example of the loving service he wanted them to perform: “as I have done, so you must do.” This commandment to love one another was not just for the apostles, but for each of us.
Jesus’ act toward us, in love, manifested symbolically in the washing of the feet and sharing of bread, presents everyone who sits at his table with a choice: One can embrace Jesus’ gift to us and embody one’s embrace of that gift through one’s own acts of love or, one can turn one’s back on Jesus’ gift of love. This means that merely sitting at Jesus’ table, and even eating the bread that he gives, is not the full story. It has to be continued in the giving of self to others and is only completed when this is done. We then enter into community with Jesus and with one another.
We profess Christianity much more profoundly in our deeds than with our words. Do we listen to the Word of God “Sabbath after Sabbath,” then leave its lessons in the pew when we leave the church? Do our words encourage or dispirit? Have we “washed the feet” of the poor, the hungry, the sick, the imprisoned in our service to them? Do we blindly ignore our own faults while criticizing others’ foibles? Do we crucify others on the cross of our expectations?
If we truly want to keep the Passion of Jesus ever in our hearts, we need to pick up that basin and towel! If we truly want to call ourselves Christian then each of is under an obligation to leave our comfort zone and to be a disciple of Christ! Yes, it is difficult. Yes, it is intrusive! No it is not about only attending Church on Sunday? No, it is not about living “ a good life.” Our society has somehow bred this “good life” into our minds and so you hear some saying: “ I go to Church. I lead a Christian life.” Because leading a Christian life is not passive. Because leading a Christian life is very often uncomfortable. Because leading a Christian life is disruptive. If we are not feeling uncomfortable then we are not turning into deeds His words.
It’s time to pick up the basin and towel.
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus Christ: Fill me with your Spirit that I may set aside all distractions and wait quietly for your word spoken to me.
Deepen my faith and trust in your loving-kindness that I may set aside my fears and do what you call me to do.
Give me the willingness to expend myself for others that I may find true happiness in their joy.
Christ invites us to serve. Being a servant to others is not easy, because it means we have to be humble. It was not easy for Christ either, but he had a motivation: to love and save us. Serving is a blessing –– even in those situations when our passions flare up, and we would like to justify ourselves –– because we can love. Love transforms our world; it transforms hearts and allows the grace of God to touch the depths of the soul.
- Posted in: Reflections