Holy Thursday – Foot Washing

Scripture Jn 13:2-5,12-15/ Rule of Benedict 53:12-15)

Both the scripture passage and the Rule of Benedict today speak of “foot washing” – an ancient element of biblical hospitality. It is only in John’s gospel that we have Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. We are told: “Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father.”  I have learned alot from the people I’ve known who knew their time of earth was limited.  What they chose to do with their time was reflective of their core values.  Jesus, in these last moments, chooses to  wash feet.  In doing so, he cleanses them and calls them, and us, to humbly care for and serve all who we encounter. Below is a link to a contemporary example of taking this practice to the streets.  As you watch, pay attention to the foot washer’s face as he invites people, with his words and his cardboard sign,to have their feet washed.  What do you see? What reactions can be read from the faces of those he invites?    What would it take for you to say yes to someone offering this hospitality on the streets of the city?

About WalkingwithBenedict

I love how scripture comes alive with messages for our lives today. In praying with scripture, we are called into deeper relationship with God and others. We are called to the growth in love, hospitality, peace, humility, stewardship and hope. St Benedict's Rule provides a lens for how scripture can be lived in our lives today whether we live inside or outside a monastery.
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4 Responses to Holy Thursday – Foot Washing

  1. Lisa Donohue says:

    Amazing video….thank you for posting! I remember getting my feet washed by our priest on Holy Thursday while going through RCIA. What a humbling experience. Thank you for the reminder to serve others not just during Holy Week but always.


    • G. Murphy says:

      Yes, I remember that as well! What a holy evening so long ago now… last night’s Mass at the monastery was awesome with Bishop Hanifen presiding and five foot washing stations manned by the leadership council of sisters. The taste of fresh bread, the voices of a prayerful choir and joyful bells during the Gloria filled the air –


  2. rascrocker says:

    What a beautiful video! This is truly a symbolic reminder that whenever we serve, we are washing the feet of others.
    The prayer for this day said, “Help me to humbly offer myself to others, not just those with whom I am comfortable, but especially to those who may feel unworthy or unvalued.” I very much struggle with this. How easy it is to offer myself to those who are most like me! It’s those who are outside of what society considers “normal” that bring out fear and anxiety in me. I spent a year volunteering at a downtown hospital, interacting with people who were definitely outside my comfort zone. It was a year and a half of learning to see the face of Christ in others. And where did I see Him most often? In the patients who were the most sick, the most underprivledged, those that felt they were the most unworthy or unvalued. He was in the faces of the homeless, the aged, and the dying. As I “washed their feet” I was stretched well beyond my comfort zone and everytime I went to volunteer I argued with God, “Please don’t make me go!” But He gently insisted, and so I went. And my work that I did, which I originally thought of as my “ministry” and “gift” to those patients… turned out to be God’s gift to me.


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