MASS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER
HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS
Prison for Minors "Casal del Marmo",
Holy Thursday, 28 March 2013
This is moving. Jesus, washing the feet of his disciples. Peter
didn’t understood it at all, he refused. But Jesus explained it for him. Jesus –
God – did this! He himself explains to his disciples: “Do you know what I have
done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord – and you are right, for that is what
I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to
wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do
as I have done to you” (Jn 13:12-15).
It is the Lord’s example: he is the most important, and he washes feet, because
with us what is highest must be at the service of others. This is a symbol, it
is a sign, right? Washing feet means: “I am at your service”. And with us too,
don’t we have to wash each other’s feet day after day? But what does this mean?
That all of us must help one another. Sometimes I am angry with someone or other
… but… let it go, let it go, and if he or she asks you a favour, do it.
Help one another: this is what Jesus teaches us and this what I am doing, and
doing with all my heart, because it is my duty. As a priest and a bishop, I must
be at your service. But it is a duty which comes from my heart: I love it. I
love this and I love to do it because that is what the Lord has taught me to do.
But you too, help one another: help one another always. One another. In this
way, by helping one another, we will do some good.
Now we will perform this ceremony of washing feet, and let us think, let each
one of us think: “Am I really willing, willing to serve, to help others?”. Let
us think about this, just this. And let us think that this sign is a caress of
Jesus, which Jesus gives, because this is the real reason why Jesus came: to
serve, to help us.