19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2022Jesus says in today's Gospel: “be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.”
The first part of Jesus story would be familiar to those who were listening. Jesus says that we need to be vigilant, awaiting his return, and so indeed we should be.
But the second part of this parable, that the master will come and have his servants recline at table, and the master will proceed to wait on them would have struck all those listening as completely backwards. The servants are supposed to tend the needs of the master at a table, but instead Jesus says that he, the master, will serve those who He finds vigilant.
And indeed at the Last Supper, that shock and surprise is still present in His Apostles when Jesus does proceed to wait on them and wash their feet. Peter is so scandalized that he tells Jesus “you will never wash my feet!”
Of course we are probably familiar with the rest of the Gospel where Jesus says if I do not wash you, you can have no inheritance with me.
Perhaps some of us find it scandalous that the Lord would wait on us and wash our feet and make us His top priority, but that indeed is the inexhaustible Love that Christ has for all of us while we are still drawing breath on Earth.
But if we reject Christ’s love (his offer to stoop down and wash our feet and love us) then Jesus says we can not enter into Heaven.
Let us acknowledge God’s greatness in comparison to our lowliness, but also still allow him to stoop down to our level and wash us and care for us and mend our wounds, particularly through the Sacraments of the Church.