On this day the holy church is reminding us of four events from the life of our Savior: washing the feet of the apostles of Jesus Christ; establishing the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist; the prayer of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal by Judas.
Before the last supper, the Lord Jesus Christ washed the feet of his disciples. Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist tells us: so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with towel that was wrapped around him. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ”Do you understand what i have done for you?” he asked them. I have set you an example that you should do as i have done for you. (John13:4-6; 12 and 15)
Imagine brothers and sisters, the Lord has washed the feet of his disciples. What an example! What a serving of a man, serving for others! ”I gave you example!” says our Saviour- By the example I gave you do not think of supremacy, or for ruling over the rest, but to be servants.
After washing their feet, the Lord celebrated the Paschal meal with the disciples, according the law of Moses. He then institutedthe new covenant Pascha- the Holy Mystery of the Holy Eucharist. The Gospel Writers tell us in Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-23; and Luke 22:19-20 that, while they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: ”take and eat, this is my body. Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying ”drink from it all of you.This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
In the Holy Eucharist, in the Holy Communion, we unite with the Lord Jesus Christ, in it we receive the Lord into ourselves. What Grace is that brothers and sisters! Thats why he commands: ”This do until the end of this world: ”Do this in my memory.” ( Luke22:19)
After the last supper, the Lord and his disciples went onto the Mount of Olives and into the Garden of Gethsemene (Matthew 26:30-36: Mark 14:26-31; Luke 22:39) There in Gethsemene began the Lord’s passions, his spiritual and his bodily sufferings. When he bowed his head and knelt, the Saviour prayed with bloody sweat streaming from his brow, and surrended to the will of God: ”Father if you are willing, take this cup from me: yet not my will but yours be done”. (Luke 22:42)
While praying in Gethsemene, Jesus Christ shows us that in temptations and sufferings, that prayer gives great and holy comfort and gives strength, even heroic strength in most the heaviest of tempations. He also shows us how, no matter what, we should surrender to God’s will.
Around midnight in the garden came the betrayel by Judas, one of the twelve. He came with many people together, a crowd with weapons such as the swords and knifes of the Temple Guards ( Matthew 26:47; Mark 14:43) and also soldiers and their servants. (John18:3) The betrayer gave a signal: ” the one I kiss is the man. Arrest him” (Matthew26:48) (Mark 14:44) Going at once to Jesus, Judas said ” Greetings Rabbi!” and kissed him. ( Matthew26:49) From that moment the name of Judas Iscariot became hated and cursed.
The Church does not baptise children named Judas. Even today we call those who have betrayed a friend a ”Judas.” We call those who, under the guise of friendship, commit fraud, those who for this world’s materialisic treasures, become betrayers; those who for avarice became extortionists, those allegoricaly or directly declare: ”What will you will give us? We will and can surrender everyone and everything!”
Judas, as you know, hanged himself. The Evangelist Saint Matthew says: ”So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself ( Matthew27:5) And the writer of the Acts of Apostles, Saint Luke supplements ”he feel headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.” (Acts 1:18) What a horrific event!
Brothers and sisters, reminding ourselves for the four occasions or events of the earthly life of our Saviour, let us teach ourselves from them
- to serve the others
- To devote ourselves to the sacarments for forgiveness of sins and for everlasting life
- -to surrend to the will of God
- -to be mindful of ourselves and to never to be like Judas
Oh Lord help us these teachings not only to remember, but also to fulfill in our lives. Amen