18 December, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/20/2008
VATICAN
In the washing of the feet Jesus’ mission finds completion, says Pope
The Saviour let his disciples join the divine banquet to which He had invited them. We are in front of an action and a gift that is also a model, the task of doing the same thing to one another to respect the precept to “love one another as I love you.”

Rome (AsiaNews) – Symbolically, the act of Jesus washing the feet represents the completion of his mission. With his love the cross transforms man, allowing him to take part in the Glory of God. “He involves all of us, pulling us with the transforming force of his love to the point that by being with Him, our life becomes ‘passage’, transformation. Thus we receive redemption—being concerned with eternal love, a condition towards which we aspire with our entire being.”

This is how the theologian Pope explained the ritual of the washing the feet he did on 12 priests this afternoon in Rome’s Cathedral, the Basilica of St John Lateran, an act that is part and parcel of the Mass in the “Lord’s Supper” with which Easter Triduum begins Holy Week.

In the washing of the feet, Benedict XVI said, Jesus removed the robe of his glory and wrapped himself in the ‘garment’ of humanity, making himself into a slave. He washed the dirty feet of the disciples and thus let them join the divine banquet to which He had invited them. Instead of cultic and external purification, which only ritually purifies man and leaves him as he is, a new bath takes over. By means of his word and love, by means of the gift of himself, he makes us pure.” And “if we welcome Jesus’ words with an attitude of meditation, prayer and faith, they will develop in us their purifying strength. Day after day we are covered by all sorts of filth, empty words, prejudices, reduced and altered knowledge; many half- or open falsehoods continuously seeps into our innermost self. All this darkens and contaminates our soul, threatens our capacity to see what is true and good. If we welcome the words of Jesus with an attentive heart, they will turn out to truly cleanse and purify the soul, the inner man.”

“If we pay close attention to the Gospel,’ said the Pope, “we can see two different aspects in the act of washing the feet. When Jesus washed the feet it was first and foremost a personal act—a gift of purity, of offering them the ‘capacity for God’. But the gift also turns into a model, the duty of doing the same thing to one another.

Together example and the act of giving “are typical of Christianity’s nature. In relation to moralism Christianity is more and something different. It is not our capacity of doing at the beginning, our moral capacity. Above all Christianity is giving: God gave him to us—he did not give something; he gave himself.” And this goes on ‘continuously.”

However, men are not “passive receivers of divine goodness. God rewards us as personal and living partners. Love given is a process of ‘loving together;’ in us it wants to be new life with God as the starting point. It is this way that we understand the words that, at the end of washing the feet, Jesus uttered when he spoke to his disciples and speaks to us all: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Jn, 13:34). The ‘new commandment’ is not a new, difficult norm that did not exist until them. The new commandment means loving together with the One who loved us first. It is this way that we must understand the Sermon on the Mount. This does not mean that Jesus had no new precepts reflecting the needs of a new humanism, more sublime than the one that came before. The Sermon on the Mount is a path to learn how to identify oneself in Jesus’ attitudes (cf Phil, 2:5), a path of inner purification that leads us to a life together with Him. What is new is the gift that introduces us into Christ’s frame of mind. If we consider this, we can perceive how far we often are in our lives from this New Testament novelty; how rarely we give humanity an example as to how to love in communion with his love. Hence we remain in its debt as far as showing the credibility of Christian truth, which is demonstrated in love. For this reason we want to pray the Lord even more in order to make us through his purification mature for his new commandment.”

A final point the Pope highlighted is that in the act of washing the feet there is “a gift, a service to one’s brother. ‘If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet’ (Jn, 13: 14). We must wash one another’s feet in the daily service of mutual love. We must wash our feet also in the sense that we always forgive one another. The debt the Lord forgave us is always infinitely greater than all the debts others owe us (cf Mt 18, 21-35). Holy Thursday entreats us to do this, that is, not to let any rancour towards others deeply poison our soul. It entreats us to continuously purify our memory, truly forgive one another, wash one another’s feet in order to join God’s banquet.”


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/21/2011 VATICAN
Even today, Satan is testing Christians before the world, Pope says
04/13/2006 VATICAN
Washing of the feet embodies the love of Jesus that purifies man
04/17/2014 VATICAN
Pope: "The washing of the feet", "a gesture of love, of service" to remind us that "we must be servants of one another"
03/21/2013 VATICAN
Pope Francis: 'washing of the feet' among inmates of 'Casal del Marmo' youth detention centre
07/03/2011 VATICAN
Life rooted in brotherly love true remedy for humanity's wounds, says Pope

Editor's choices
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch calls for fasting on Christmas Eve for refugees' return to Mosul
by Joseph MahmoudMar Louis Sako calls on the faithful not to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a "worldly" fashion, with pomp and abundance, out of solidarity with the people who fled the Nineveh plains, persecuted by the Islamic Army. AsiaNews is joining the fast proposed by the Patriarch and calls on all readers to give what they would have otherwise spent in support of the campaign 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul'.
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.