O Blessed Lord, who has commanded us to love one another, grant us grace that having received your undeserved bounty, we may love everyone in you and for you. We implore your clemency for all; but especially for the friends whom your love has given to us. Love them, O Fountain of Love, and make them love you with all their heart, that they may will and speak and do those things only which are pleasing to you.
—St. Anselm, 1033-1109
John 13:1-11 NIV
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
Lord Jesus, I stand in need of your cleansing water. Yet I am prideful. I refuse to allow you to wash my feet because I don’t fully understand how you could crouch before me like a dirty slave and wash my feet. I am embarrassed. I’m too worried what others might think. I am dirty, so dirty. Wash me Lord Jesus, wash me with your purifying and cleansing water. Take a bucket and a scouring brush to my dirty feet, my dirty heart, my dirty soul. Wash me, and make we worthy to wash another’s feet.