On Holy Thursday, the gospel for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper held in the evening provides the account of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. Many people naturally reflect on the feelings Jesus might have experienced at this time. The Gospel directly relates the thoughts of Jesus: “Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and loved them to the end.” (John 13:1). What would it be like to know your fate in advance, not just for yourself, but for all of humanity–the people who were, the people who are, and the people (like us) who are yet to come? The beautiful, simple song by Jacques Berthier, “Jesus, Remember Me,” has one line of lyrics: “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.” How heavy and deep the night/morning between Holy Thursday and Good Friday must have been. We were all part of the Lord’s Passion. Yes, we take part in it each year through the grace of Mass, but Jesus also held each one of us in His heart as He endured His passion, remembering us as He came into His kingdom.
And what were the thoughts of Peter entering this pivotal point in time? He could not have been completely aware of what was happening. According to the Gospel, his attention was focused on the reason for Jesus washing his feet.
“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.” (John 13: 6-7).
What was it like to be Peter or any one of the disciples? They understood who Jesus was but the gravity of the circumstances was still so incomprehensible at that “last supper,” it must have been difficult to grasp. They locked themselves in a room after Jesus was crucified because they were afraid, but they almost all became martyrs for their faith later on. Surely, Jesus knew what He was telling Peter when He said Peter might not understand what He was doing now, but he would in the future. The account of the Lord’s Supper is a beautiful example of how much Jesus loved and loves us right from the beginning of His passion. He has always been with us and will never leave us throughout our journey and He will have patience when we “know not what [we] do” because He knows we will learn from every step we take and grow ever closer to Him, just as His disciples did.