April 21, 2016 (readings)
- Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter
When Jesus had washed the disciples' feet, he said to them: "Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me. From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are God. I believe that you became man, suffered, died, rose from the dead and ascended in heaven. I believe that you sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us along our earthly journey towards your heavenly Kingdom. Thank you for your infinite, unconditional love. Thank you for showing me the way. I place all my trust in you and yearn to love you more each day.
Petition: Lord Jesus, make me prefer to serve rather than be served.
1. The Teacher: The disciples called Jesus “Master” during his lifetime. Many others did too –– and rightfully so –– because Jesus is the Master. The third time St. Peter saw the Lord after the Resurrection, he confessed: “Lord, you know everything” (John 21:17). And even if it meant accepting difficult growth lessons in life, St. Peter was able to accept humbly that Christ truly was Master, that he does know all. In contemplating Christ, we must try to remember who it is who is speaking, acting, working miracles, suffering, working and instructing. It is God, the Master of all: a man like us, yes, but also God, holding the keys to all things.
2. The Disciple: The master became a slave. God served men. We can only bow in humble adoration knowing that our all-powerful God came to earth to serve us. Time and time again Christ gives his disciples an example of their own mission: to serve others. Love God by serving others; live like Jesus by humbly submitting to God’s will. This is the essence of Christianity: to live a life of humble service with all people, especially with those we find it most difficult to serve. One word captures it: charity.
3. The Blessing: Christ invites us to serve. Being a servant to others is not easy, because it means we have to be humble. It was not easy for Christ either, but he had a motivation: to love and save us. Serving is a blessing –– even in those situations when our passions flare up and we would like to justify ourselves –– because we can love. Love transforms our world; it transforms hearts and allows the grace of God to touch the depths of the soul. If we have love for souls as our motivation to serve, every opportunity we have to live as servants becomes a blessing, a blessing to live like the Master who came to serve and not be served and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, help me this day to imitate you as a humble servant of all. Inflame my heart with a great zeal for souls so that in every moment I may desire to bring your love to others.
Resolution: I will do a concrete act of charity today for someone in need.
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