Reflection for Maundy Thursday

By Rev. Dr. Laura Truax


Lectionary reading for 4/14/2022: Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19; Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Selected passage for reflection: John 13:1-5


Read

John 13:1-5 (NIV)

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 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.

Reflect

I am on my knees before you. I am kneeling at your feet. Wash basin and towel in hand.

Despite my efforts, the front of my tunic is wet as water drips down my arms onto my chest. A dozen men have made this room crowded. The air is thick with the lingering smells of dinner and the staleness brought by closed windows and solid doors.The confusion is palpable, the arguments are baited. Each one seemingly eyeing the other with suspicion and distrust. And I am on my knees.


It was easier when you believed that I was advancing an agenda. A plan to help the down-trodden live better. When you were convinced I had come to restore the fortunes of Israel. Usher in a new kingdom. Your eyes lit up at the chance to be part of a national resurgence. I saw that enthusiasm and hoped it would carry you all the way through. Though this night and what I expected would follow. Through the disillusionment and disappointment. Through the grief and confusion. I hoped your enthusiasm would keep you committed until, perhaps, your support might turn into mutuality; into love.


But our days grow brief. There is so much more for you to learn, to understand, to integrate. There is no more time and I am on my knees at your feet. Will you remember this? Will you remember the lowliness of me? Will you recall how it felt to have me wash the dirt off your hardened soles? Will you realize that the greatest thing I can do is give up everything I have for the sake of love alone?


I am on my knees waiting to receive your feet.


Respond

Pause and reflect on how Jesus wants to love you right now. Consider how humbly Jesus works and how he makes himself so vulnerable to your decision. Today be aware of how tenderly he is seeking to be received by you.


Rest

Jesus, as we approach the final days of your earthly ministry we ask that you show us what you want us to see. As you bend low at our feet, we ask for the grace to follow you in your humility. May the love with which you served others be the love that marks us as well.


About the Author


Rev. Dr. Laura Truax is a pastor, writer and speaker who has just finished spending 35 days in a silent retreat. Laura is currently serving as a spiritual director at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and as a facilitator of online meditation groups.


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