Gospel Reflection – Thursday 4th Week of Easter (4 May) – Serving one another
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (13: 16-20) in which Jesus says to his disciples ‘No servant is greater than his master, no is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know this happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly’.
Fr Paul says this is the only Gospel reading about the Last Supper itself in the whole of our Easter season. The first act of Jesus at the Last Supper is, according to John, to wash the disciples’ feet as a demonstration of his ministry or service to them. Peter complains at the indignity of this service, but Jesus insists. This action of Jesus receives greater emphasis in that – apart from the story of the betrayal – it is all John tells us about the Last Supper.
Although we read the account of the washing of the disciples’ feet on Holy Thursday, and it is appropriate that it should be mentioned now, when we and the disciples are being prepared for carrying on the mission of Jesus – The Feast of Pentecost. The lesson here is that the priesthood is a matter of service, not of dignity and it’s clear from Jesus’ statements that this applies, to the whole priesthood of the priestly people of God, and not just to those who are ordained to a ministry.
In closing Fr Paul shares today’s Gospel Lesson – We should all serve one another.