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Photo: fresco by Giotto (1267-1337); in the Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padua

Surrender Your Image of God

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March 20 Holy Thursday

Readings: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Jn 13:1-15

Peter said to Him, "You will never wash my feet." Jn 13: 8

Pope John Paul II had a remarkable meditation on this verse from today's Gospel. He wrote, "The institution of the Sacrament of the Last Supper is tied to the washing of the feet of the apostles. At that very moment, [Jesus] meets Peter's resistance. The apostle resists Christ firmly, telling Him, 'You will never wash my feet.'

"Peter opposes Christ in a similar way earlier in the Gospels. After the disciple confesses his faith in Jesus as the Son of God, Jesus foretells His own Passion. At that moment, Peter begins to protest, saying: 'God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to You' (Mt 16:22).

"On that occasion, Jesus rebukes Peter harshly. Probably there is no one else to whom He has spoken so severely as He does to Peter in those circumstances.

"But, at the Last Supper, Jesus does not rebuke Peter. He simply admonishes him gently with these words, 'Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with Me' (v. 8). And Peter yields to His Master.

"Why does Peter oppose Jesus [in these two instances]? Perhaps because he has been given the knowledge of Christ's divinity: 'You are the Messiah, the Son of God.' (See Mt 11:25.)

"However, 'no one knows the Son except the Father' (Mt 11:27). It is the Father who has revealed the Son's divinity to Peter. That is exactly why Peter [in his humanity] reasons: 'How can He say — He who is the Christ and the Son of God — that He will be put to death? And how can the Son of the living God and the Lord of all behave like a servant?'

"Peter is defending his own image of God before himself, before the Twelve, and before Christ."

Lord Jesus, I willingly surrender my own ideas of what You are like. I ask that You reveal Yourself to me as You really are, so I can know and love You better. Amen

Scripture
2 Cor 8:9
Phil 2:7
1 Tim 5:10

Catechism
565, 608

Diary of St. Faustina
990, 1631

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