A subtle humility: Holy Thursday

Surprisingly, the history of sin repeats itself. Abused children end up being abusive parents. As ironic as it may sound, statistics continually confirm that disheartening fact. It seems that sin is infectious. If that is the case, we should ask, is love infectious too? Should we be loved in order for us to love?

Only the gospel of John tells of the washing of the disciples’ feet. Washing of the feet was something everyone was supposed to do by himself. Slaves could not be obliged to wash their master’s feet. But occasionally disciples would do it for their teacher.

We tend to interpret this in terms of the humble service that Christ showed towards his disciples, and it was, of course, correct. In fact, Peter protested of this service. If ever, he should be the one washing Jesus’ feet.

But what Peter was called to exercise was also a kind of humility. It was pride, or false humility, that prevented Peter from letting Jesus wash his feet. Only when Jesus told him of the reward, does he go to the other extreme of asking Jesus to wash even his head.

God knows, not only that sin is infectious, he knows that the only cure, His love, is infectious too and Jesus wants to begin infecting everyone starting with his disciples. The first letter of John explains it explicitly, “God loved us first.” Only if we accept in humility a God who serves us, can we learn to serve and love as He serves and loves.