12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants[d] are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
Sometimes I get the feeling that God is just too busy for me…
After all there is an Ebola outbreak in West Africa, war brewing in Ukraine, famine and unrest all over the world, and people reeling from natural disasters from drought to earthquakes and floods. People are struggling all over the world, crying to God (as they understand God) for help with issues of crime, violence, poverty and illness…so who am I to be asking God for help?
My problems pale in comparison to those of the rest of the world…as I am ‘simply’ worried about keeping my daughter safe and healthy, being able to keep my home, pay my bills, and find a way to survive on a reduced income; however, I still have a roof over my head, and while bill collectors still call me on a regular basis, I can pay the mortgage, keep the lights on and put food in the fridge (just not as much as I once did), my daughter and I are sober, and I have a job…all things to be grateful for, and much more than many others in the world have.
So who am I to ask God for help, comfort and support…asking God to help me to make things better for myself and my daughter?
Yet I still do pray for God’s help when I am worried about my daughter, or seeking direction for myself when faced with a decision that only a parent can make. I ask for God to give me patience and trust, when it feels like my fear and frustrations are about over-take me, and ask for comfort and support when these feelings finally get the better of me.
Although I pray several times every day often it has felt as if I was praying only to myself, especially when things did not seem to change much…like a few years ago when things were really bad with my daughter and I practically (no, actually) begged God for help, and none seemed to come…and things did not change…at least not then!
At that time I became frustrated and even a little angry, and I found myself thinking that God was just so busy dealing with the world’s problems that there was no time to address the concerns of myself and my daughter, leaving us pretty much on our own.
Although our problems were not earth shaking, they were critical to us, and to feel as if God did not have time for us shook my faith!
Yet today’s Gospel reading brings us good news! The good news that although God has the whole universe to be concerned with, Jesus still washes our feet!!!
God not only looks at the big picture but is also able to reach out to us as individuals with grace and love, hope and compassion! I think we can agree that God is a master as multi-tasking but asking HOW all these things are accomplished at once is not as important as WHY God does it?
The best answer I can find to ‘WHY?’ is because we are all well-loved children of God…and like any good parent desired for their child God wants only the best for us. This is why God reaches out to us through Jesus, bending in humility to wash our feet, to give us comfort and hope, to remind us that our joys and our pains are no mystery to God…that we and our children are always surrounded by the freely given gifts of grace and love.
Given these gifts, we are called to share them with others…just as Jesus commanded his disciples to follow his example, by washing the feet of others, sharing the comfort of God’s love with all who need to hear it, we too are called to humility: from putting aside our concerns for a few moments (or hours) to play on the floor with our children, taking a trip to the park, or struggling through homework…even to the clean up after themselves, which can include washing their feet!
By washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus shows he is not only ‘God with us’ but also one of us…and as such is never too concerned with the troubles of the world to fail to give us comfort, or show us care and love, to answer our prayers (even if the answer is not always to our liking) and to give us the faith and wisdom to be the answer to the prayers of others…reminding them that God is always listening to us.
Let us Pray:
God we thank you that you are never too busy to listen to our prayers, and show us your love. Thank you that you care so much for us that you came to us in Jesus to live with us, and walk through life as one of us…even to the point of bending in humility to wash our feet! Please help us to follow Jesus’ call to “…do as I have done to you” by reaching to others as you have reached out to us, as the answer to their prayers, by sharing all that we have learned as single parents, from success to mistake…to help them to get time of trouble and indecision. Let us never be too busy or too caught up with our own lives to fail to stop and ‘wash the feet’ of those who need the cleansing touch of grace and hope in their lives.