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Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter

My dear encountered couples:

Today’s Gospel is a continuation of yesterday’s Gospel. Jesus realizes that his time on this earth is very limited. He needs to prepare the disciples for his departure. Jesus wants his disciples to continue his ministry. He desires that they serve one another, even if it means washing each other’s dirty, dusty feet. They are to do what Jesus has done. Jesus taught them, served them and loved them deeply! Now the disciples are to love, serve, teach and wash the other’s feet! Their call is to continue Jesus’ ministry. Jesus clearly emphasizes the importance of serving others. He tells them: “Whoever receives the one I send receives me and they also receive the One who sent me!” Yes, Jesus wants his disciples to love God and one another. However, they also are to love each person they meet, even if they do not particularly like that individual. They are to love and serve everyone, just as Jesus did. No one is to be excluded from their service and their love. What a challenge this is for us. It can be very tempting to pick and choose the people I want to help or serve. The reality is we naturally feel more comfortable with our friends and people we like. However, if we truly desire to follow Jesus, we also need to reach out to every individual who needs care, attention, patience and support. When we care for others, in a sense we may be “washing their feet.” Jesus does not want us to exclude anyone. What a challenge that can be! As I write this, the coronavirus pandemic is reaching its peak in the United States. The present is full of uncertainty and anxiety. The past (the way things used to be) is becoming a distant memory. Our future is described as the “new normal.” We can only imagine what that future “new normal” will be like. As Christians, we have a duty to bring Christ into this future “new normal.” As Christians, this duty begins now with service to one another, washing our hands and each other’s feet. As Christians, we recall the graces of the past so we can bring them into the future.

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