THURSDAY, FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER
Acts 13: 13-25; Ps 89: 2-3,21-22,25,27; Jn 13: 16-20
NO SERVANT IS GREATER THAN HIS MASTER
On the night before Jesus died, at his last meal, Jesus gave a long discourse to his apostles on true discipleship. The word ‘disciple’ means ‘follower’. Our discipleship begins with a desire to follow with sincerity of heart, doing as he did, loving as he loved, choosing what he chose. However, one cannot become a disciple of Christ with his or her own capacity and initiative; it is the work of the Holy Spirit within the Christian community that forms a person into a disciple of Christ.
Today’s gospel reveals an essential feature of being a disciple. No servant is greater than his Master. Jesus said this after a very personal act of service – he washed the feet of his disciples. Jesus’ whole life was an example of service towards fallen humanity, fulfilling his Father’s will to the point of dying on the cross. It was an act of great humility by the incarnate son of God. The master became a slave. God served men. We can only bow in humble adoration knowing that our all-powerful God came to earth to serve us. Here, our Lord promises us that if we imitate him, our Teacher, in selfless service – which always implies sacrifice – we will find true happiness that no one can wrest from us.
This is the essence of Christianity – to live a life of humble service with all people, especially with those we find it most difficult to serve and to love wholeheartedly. Jesus’ service, as he already told his disciples, consists in giving his life “as a ransom for many”. In order to serve and love like Jesus, every disciple is required to make efforts to learn how to listen to God just as Jesus our Lord and Master was always listening to the Father. For this, we need to set aside any ambition, any selfish desire to dominate; and we will find peace and joy reigning within and around us.
Response: Their sound goes forth through all the earth
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