WEDNESDAY PRAYER- 2nd June, 2021

PSALM OF PRAISE:  Psalm 116
Alleluia! O praise the Lord, all you nations,
Acclaim him all you peoples!

Strong is his love for us;

He is faithful for ever.

LITANY OF PRAISE:
Our response to our prayers of praise and thanks is:
We praise you, we bless you, we thank you!
SCRIPTURE READING: John 13:1-5
Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, having loved those who were his in the world, loved them to the end.
They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, and he got up from the table, removed his outer garments and, taking a towel, wrapped it around his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. . . .

The Gospel of the Lord

REFLECTION:  (Richard Leonard S.J.)

John, in his Gospel, writes that Jesus gathers his disciples at the Passover, but records nothing of the action of Jesus at the meal but focuses on what happened after it was over. John is the only Gospel to tell us how Jesus got up from the table and washed the feet of his disciples.

                While that washing of a guest’s feet was a custom in Jesus’s day, a Jewish host certainly never did it. Indeed, not even Jewish servants usually performed this act. If possible, it was the task of the least in the house, one for the Gentile, or non-Jewish servant. The household code tells us that it was not done regularly, but only on those occasions where guests who had completed a long trip were received into the home at journey’s end.

                By doing this act, Jesus announces the end of the road for weary travellers. For him and his disciples, the journey they had embarked upon years before was about to take a final turn. Indeed, it was to be a definitive rite of passage. And in doing so, Jesus also demonstrated what he had preached – that anyone who wants to be first must be the last of all and servant of all. In this ritual action, he walks the talk and does the job of the most-lowly slave in the house.

                Because dusty, weatherworn feet were objectionable in Jesus’s day, I like to think his action at the Last Supper also reveals that, as Christ welcomes us to his table, he also says there is not a part of any of us that is untouchable or shameful, that nothing is beyond God’s loving touch – not one part – and that our God, revealed in Jesus, “gets down and dirty” so that, following his lead, we can rise up to claim our dignity as his disciples and commit ourselves again to acts of loving service that sets other people free. “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet”.

                By celebrating the Eucharist, we pray that Christ will continue to “Easter in us” and that there is no service too small, no act of kindness too insignificant, and no moment of love inconsequential in our service of all God’s people. We look for opportunities to take up the commission to serve all those who feel spent with the brokenness of their lives. And when we do this, we discover it has an extraordinary effect on us. With our brothers and sisters whom we serve, we can recognise the face of the rising Son and praise God together on our knees.

INTERCESSIONS:

Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

CLOSING PRAYER:

Let us break bread together on our knees.

Let us break bread together on our knees.

When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising Son,

O Lord, have mercy on me.

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