Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

3/24/2016 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Holy Thursday Mandatum is an important ceremony for all Catholics.

Why did Jesus wash the Disciples' feet? It seems like such a humiliating task, yet it's also personal, almost intimate. That Jesus performed this task as one of His last acts on Earth delivers an important message of how we are supposed to be as Christians. Are we willing to wash the feet of our neighbors?

Jesus washed the Disciples' feet to show that nobody is above serving their neighbor.

Jesus washed the Disciples' feet to show that nobody is above serving their neighbor.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/24/2016 (5 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Holy Thursday Mandatum, foot washing, ceremony, feet, rite, Jesus, disciples


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the ancient world, even more than now, feet were dirty things. Sandals were common dress, and they often trod unpaved streets that doubled as sewers and channels for every kind of refuse. As a result, having clean feet, especially when entering a place, was important.

The ancient world knew nothing of germs, but the understood the importance of cleanliness, as it was instructed to them in the holy texts of the time. Today, we understand the scientific basis behind the ancient rules which demanded people be clean in their interactions.


According to the Gospel, Jesus performed a final act of service for his Disciples, following the Passover meal. Arising from the table, He tied a towel about His waist and filled a basin with water. Then, one after another He washed the feet of each disciple, except Judas, who had already departed to betray Him.

When Peter protested that Jesus was about to wash his feet, Christ admonished, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."

After washing the Disciples' feet, Jesus explained what He did and why. "You should wash one another's feet," He told them. "I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." (John 13:1-17)

The point Jesus was trying to make is already spelled out in the Scriptures, and needs little interpretation. We are to serve our neighbors, even if it means we must do things we might not like to do. Even if the work is dirty or hard, or even if we think it beneath us, we must still do our work. After all, Jesus Himself, the Son of God, washed the feet of His disciples. And we are no greater than Jesus, so surely we too should do the same.

In church, the foot washing ceremony is an important call for all people that they too should be willing to serve others. In the Catholic Church, this is called the Holy Thursday Mandatum, and the rite takes place after the homily. Members of the congregation are chosen to sit and have their feet washed by the priest, who plays the role of Christ. One by one, the priest will wash the participant's feet with a basin and a towel.

Allow us to be explicit in stating the significance of this ceremony. It is a reminder that we are of the Body of Christ and as such, and His followers, we too are called to serve others in a spirit of humility. And we are to do so, even if we do not feel the desire to do so. As Christians, this is our duty.

READ JOHN 13:1-17

1 Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, having loved those who were his in the world, loved them to the end.

2 They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him.

3 Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God,

4 and he got up from table, removed his outer garments and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist;

5 he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 'Lord, are you going to wash my feet?'

7 Jesus answered, 'At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.'

8 'Never!' said Peter. 'You shall never wash my feet.' Jesus replied, 'If I do not wash you, you can have no share with me.' Simon Peter said,

9 'Well then, Lord, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!'

10 Jesus said, 'No one who has had a bath needs washing, such a person is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are.'

11 He knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said, 'though not all of you are'.

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments again he went back to the table. 'Do you understand', he said, 'what I have done to you?

13 You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am.

14 If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other's feet.

15 I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.

16 'In all truth I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, no messenger is greater than the one who sent him.

17 'Now that you know this, blessed are you if you behave accordingly.

(New Jerusalem Bible)

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2016
Universal:
Sports: That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.
Evangelization: Living the Gospel: That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty, and love of neighbor.



Comments


More Living Faith

A very brief history of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church Watch

Image of As a general rule priests in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church take a vow to remain celibate before they are even ordained to the Order of Deacon. There are some exceptions.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The debate over married men becoming Catholic priests is an ancient one, stretching back to biblical times. As the debate resumes, one question always arises. What is the history of priestly celibacy? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Ask anyone about the history ... continue reading


Will the next Synod of Bishops consider married men for ordination to the priesthood? Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier, CNA

In an article entitled "Next Synod likely to Focus on Ordaining Married Men" in the August 12 edition of CRUX, the British journalist Austin Invereigh reported that the next Synod of Bishops could focus on the possibility of opening ordination to the priesthood to ... continue reading


Mother Teresa: What was she really like? Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

Women's rights activist Reggie Littlejohn is known for her fierce work fighting forced abortion and gendercide in China, often through grilling speeches given before the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - However, what is less-known ... continue reading


'Forgive, Love and Heal': One man's journey to 'Heaven' and back Watch

Image of Dr. Rajiv Parti believes he died and temporarily went to Heaven.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Dr. Rajiv Parti experienced an emergency in 2010 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, leading him to an event that changed his life forever. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When Dr. Parti was rushed to UCLA's emergency room, he lost control of his bodily ... continue reading


Famous atheist believes after miracle at Medjugorje Watch

Image of Randall Sullivan was an atheist, but now he believes after experiencing a vision on Cross Mountain.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Randall Sullivan was an atheist, working as a war correspondent in Bosnia. He was also a contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine. During a visit to Medjugorje, something changed his life forever. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sullivan started his day ... continue reading


Pope Francis prays for victims of Turkish wedding attack Watch

Image of Pope Francis prays for victims of Turkish wedding bombing.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A child believed to be between 12 and 14-years-old interrupted a wedding ceremony in Gaziantep, Turkey, killing 54 people, 22 of whom were under 14-years-old. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attack has not been claimed by ISIS or other terrorist groups but ... continue reading


Christian persecution is real - emotional exhibit opens in Rome Watch

Image of A man removes a charred cross from a burned out church. Christian persecution takes place constantly around the world.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Aid to the Church in Need has opened an exhibit in Italy where visitors can share the experience of Christian persecution. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Christian persecution happens far away from us. We may complain about the atheists or the satanists and ... continue reading


Toilet trouble: Target tests temporary toilet theory Watch

Image of Target attempts to compromise its bathroom policy (Kai Pfaffenbach).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

Amid continuing dispute over its transgender bathroom policy, the retail giant Target has denied that the controversy is linked to its decline in sales and says it will not change the policy. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - Instead, it will spend $20 million for ... continue reading


Statue of Virgin Mary weeping blood - is this a WARNING? (PHOTO) Watch

Image of Our Lady calls for the conversion of hearts.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Catholic parishioners at a remote Bolivian church report a statue of the Virgin Mary is weeping blood. If true, this is yet another message from Our Lady that conversions of heart are needed more than ever. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A statue of Mary is ... continue reading


Pope Francis inspires Michelin 3-star chef to do this AMAZING thing for Rio's homeless Watch

Image of Massimo Bottura offers Rio's homeless free fine dining meals.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Olympians burn thousands of calories during practice each day, leaving them ravenous. Over 250 tons of ingredients feed the Olympians per meal but what happens to the leftovers? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to The New York Times, Italian chef Massimo ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 1:1-9
1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise your name for ever and ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 24:42-51
42 'So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 25th, 2016 Image

St. Louis King of France
August 25: St. Louis, King of France, patron of Tertiaries, ... Read More