Moved to Greater Love
Moved to Greater Love

Holy Thursday, April 17

Today’s Grace

I pray for the grace to feel sorrow and compassion, so that I may be united with the Lord Jesus in his Passion.

Scripture/Reading

Reading via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website:

Jn 13:1-15
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

Reflection Questions

At the Last Supper, Jesus broke bread and shared a meal with his beloved disciples. Be present and listen to the conversation as Jesus foretold of his betrayal. Feel the sadness and confusion among the disciples.

  1. After the meal, Jesus took on the role of a servant in washing the feet of the disciples. Watch how much he loved them and poured out his love in the humbled act of foot washing. See how Peter refused to allow Jesus to wash his feet. What do I need to surrender to the Lord so that he can wash my feet and purify me from my sinfulness?
  2. How am I moved to love those around me by Christ’s selfless love? Who are the people that I am called to wash their feet out of an act of love, forgiveness or reconciliation?

Reflection

From “Essential Writings” by Pedro Arrupe, SJ:

The [Spiritual] Exercises are, in the last analysis, a method in the pedagogy of love — the pedagogy, that is, of the most pure charity toward God and toward one’s neighbor. They root out carnal and worldly love from the human heart, thus opening it to the beams of God’s love. A demanding love it is, calling forth in a person a response of love and of service. Service, which is itself love. This is the message of the very last paragraph of the book of the Exercises. “The zealous service of God our Lord out of pure love should be esteemed above all.” In the Exercises we find terms and concepts which are logically reducible to one another: the “glory of God,” for example, can be replaced by the “service of God.” The same may be said of “praise” and “reverence.” Only one term is final and irreducible to another: love.

From “Collaboration at the Heart of Mission” - Decree 6 of the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 35:

The local Jesuit superior and local Jesuits do much to foster the connection between a Jesuit ministry and the Society. All Jesuits, but especially those assigned to a work, can help to foster a spirit of discernment and collaboration by their example and their willingness to share their lives with others. Likewise, our communities, as apostolic centers and not as mere residences, are called to explore how their hospitality may promote collaboration.

…the powerful spirit acknowledged and encouraged by GC 34 has not been idle, and for every challenge greater creativity and zeal have been the response.

Numerous programs of Ignatian formation have grown up around the world, adapted to various religious and cultural contexts. The foundational grace of the Spiritual Exercises is more widely available and provides a common language and experience, in which collaboration in mission is rooted and inspired. Increasing numbers of Jesuit works are directed by committed lay people, by other religious, and by diocesan clergy. The members of the Society — priests and brothers, those formed and those in formation — have a greater awareness of shared responsibility with others for the mission and ministry of the Society. Further, the Society has been enriched by our encounter with diverse communities of dialogue and cooperation. Lay and religious, women and men, indigenous persons and those of different religious and spiritual experiences: all these have changed us and nurtured in us a greater sense of the God “in whom we live and move and have our being.”

The grace of these years is reflected in both more extensive and deeper apostolic collaboration, which places all — Jesuits and others — with the Son.

The Last Supper
“The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci

Music: Stay with Me (Taizé)

Other Resources

View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.





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America - 12/01/14

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