16 May 2019. Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Reflection (Sem. Edgar R. Calma)
Just a few days ago, the whole nation concluded the mid-term elections which is a solemn duty and right of every citizen of our country. We have chosen candidates for various national and local positions whom we have evaluated and assessed fit and qualified to become leaders of our country, provinces and municipalities. But more than their role as leaders, they are also the servants of the people. They were elected to lead but equally important is to reach out and serve especially the least, the last and the lost in our society particularly their respective constituents. True leaders in the real sense are sincere and humble servants. There is an innate desire and longing of selfless service and focused on the others’ interest and well-being. And we find this kind of self-donation and self-giving in our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ washed the feet of his disciples because He wanted to teach them the true meaning of leadership rooted in love and genuine service. “When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it…Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” For Jesus, genuine service is founded on love, acceptance and witnessing. Leadership, therefore, is leading by one’s example of character, integrity, humility and holiness.
As followers of our Risen Lord and Savior, we are invited to imitate Him in his example of leadership rooted in His humble service and love for us. He did not only wash our feet, but willingly gave up His live and died for us to wash away our sins and iniquities. But, more than saving us from death, through His resurrection Jesus gave us new life. A life that will lead us in continuously giving our very self in humble service as we participate in the life and mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. It will not be an easy task and goal to really serve because there will be a lot of challenges, trial, frustrations and difficulties. But we need to ask and beg for the grace from Jesus. His abiding presence will carry us through because genuine, sustaining and enduring service comes only from the one who truly loves and serves.
The Gospel Today
When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master
nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.
I am not speaking of all of you.
I know those whom I have chosen.
But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.
From now on I am telling you before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send
receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”