Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter
(Acts 13:13-25; John 13:16-20)
Pope Francis has recently proclaimed Pope VI a saint. St. Paul VI, a wise and holy man, wrote two outstanding Church documents. One, Humanae Vitae, critiqued the ascendant values or, better, disvalues of artificial contraception. The other, Evangelii Nuntiandi, proposed a dynamic plan for Church members in the modern world. This plan reflects a statement in today’s gospel
Jesus indicates to his disciples that they are being sent into the world. He wants them to proclaim his death on the cross as the definitive sign of God’s love. The same disciples carried out their mission, but still not all the people believed. So the mission has been handed on to Christian disciples today.
That is, it has been given to us. We are to proclaim the love of God not so much by word as by deed. Jesus shows the disciples on hand what love means by washing their feet. He then asks that they do likewise. In the same way we are to wash the feet of others. The washing is not literal. We are not to open foot baths all over town. Rather the washing is figurative. We are to serve others by doing what is truly helpful and needed.