We’re so used to the idea of our Lord washing the feet of his disciples that it no longer strikes us.

If we think about it, however, it remains quite unthinkable for any Master like Jesus–and certainly for God–to stoop so low and wash not only the feet of his inferiors, but also–and especially–the feet of the one who will, in just a few moments, betray the Lord and lead his enemies to him.


Have you wondered why Jesus included Judas in the washing of the feet, not to mention the breaking of the bread itself? Why not let him go earlier? Let the traitor skip communion and the feet-washing!

My guess is that Jesus hadn’t given up on Judas. Until the very last minute he was trying to reach out to him.

That’s why he washed Judas’ feet, hoping Judas would be so moved to undergo a change of heart.

That’s why Jesus made sure to offer Judas that morsel of bread, carefully and perhaps even lovingly dipped in wine. It wasn’t done just to identify his betrayer; it was a gesture meant to melt Judas’ heart.

These two gestures offer us a hint of the breadth and the depth of God’s mercy. God never stops being merciful even to those whose hearts have hardened, including those who have decided to hurt and betray him.

Ask yourself: Can you do the same to those who have hurt you and betrayed you? Would you feed them–or wash their feet?

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