Service Rooted in Encounter

After washing the feet of his apostles in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus asks, “Do you know what I have done for you?”

He isn’t bragging. He isn’t seeking praise. His question is authentic, and it is worthy of reflection for all of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus:

Do you know what I have done for you?

Again and again through the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, God shows us how boundless his love is for us. In Jesus, he pitches a tent among us and shares in our human lot.

But Jesus did not come simply to accompany us, but also to serve us. Jesus, who is God himself, gets on his knees and washes the feet of his followers. This is the “act of a slave, of a servant,” but this is also a God who will not withhold anything in showing us His love.

Do we get it? Do we comprehend how amazing this is? Does it change the way we live? Does it change the way we interact with our families, our friends, and even our enemies?

Let’s not domesticate him: Jesus Christ is a radical, willing to overthrow our complacencies, our assumptions, and our very way of living.

He stirs us up, and asks us to change: “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.”

How do we do that? We allow God to be present in our midst. We give him permission to encounter us. We say ‘yes’ to his invitation. We allow him to wash our feet.

Our service of others must spring out of an encounter of the one whose love for us is so radical that he is willing to give all, including his very life, just to be with us.