Thursday, March 24, 2016

He had loved his own in this world, and would show his love for them to the end

Book of Exodus 12:1-8.11-14. 
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 
"This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year. 
Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household. 
If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it. 
The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats. 
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. 
They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb. 
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 
"This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the LORD. 
For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every first--born of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt-I, the LORD! 
But the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you. 
"This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution." 

Psalms 116(115):12-13.15-16bc.17-18. 
How shall I make a return to the LORD 
for all the good he has done for me? 
The cup of salvation I will take up, 
and I will call upon the name of the LORD. 

Precious in the eyes of the LORD 
is the death of his faithful ones. 
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; 
you have loosed my bonds. 

To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, 
and I will call upon the name of the LORD. 
My vows to the LORD I will pay   
in the presence of all his people.   

First Letter to the Corinthians 11:23-26. 
Brothers and sisters: I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread,
and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." 
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 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. 

“He had loved his own in this world, and would show his love for them to the end.”

“Your attitude must be that of Christ.” … “He was in the form of God,” equal to God by nature, since he shared in God’s power, God’s eternity and God’s very being… He did the job of a servant “by humbling himself, obeying his Father even to death, death on a cross.” (cf. Phil 2:5-8) One might consider it to be trivial that, as God’s Son and his equal, he served his Father as a servant. More than that, he served his own servant more than any other servant. For the human being had been created to serve his Creator. What could be more just for you than to serve him who made you, without whom you would not be? And what could be more blest than to serve him, since to serve him is to reign? But the human being said to his Creator: “I will not serve.” (Jer 2:20)

Then the Creator said to the human being: “So I will serve you! Go sit down at the table; I will serve. I will wash your feet. Rest. I will take your pains upon myself; I will carry your weakness… If you grow tired or are burdened, I will carry you, you and your burden, so as to be the first to fulfill my law: ‘Carry one another’s burdens’ (Gal 6:2)… If you are hungry or thirsty…, here I am, ready to be sacrificed so that you might eat my flesh and drink my blood… If you are taken into captivity or if you are sold, here I am… Redeem yourself by paying the ransom you will get from me. I give myself as ransom… If you are sick, if you fear death, I will die in your place, so that from my blood you can make for yourself a life-giving remedy…”

O my Lord, what a price you paid to ransom my useless service!… What a way you had, full of love, of gentleness and of kindness, to win back and submit this rebellious servant by triumphing over evil through good, by confounding my pride with your humility, by filling this ungrateful person with your kindness! This! This is how your wisdom triumphed.

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