Quote 04 1

Holy Thursday (Cycle C)
Jn. 13:1-15: Homily of Saint Augustine (Commentary on the Gospel of John 56,1-3)

“When the Lord was washing the feet of the disciples: He approached Simon Peter; and Peter says unto Him: Lord, are you going to wash my feet? Who would not be filled with fear if the Son of God would wash his feet? And even though, it was a sign of a temerarious audacity that man, as servant resisted his Lord God, Peter preferred it before allowing his Lord and God to wash his feet. But Jesus replied and said to him: What I do, you do not understand now,you shall understant it later soon after. And not even yet, though stunned by the greatness of the divine action, he still resists to allow to be done that which whose reason he does not understand. He wishes not to see, nor can he bare to have Christ humbled himself at his feet. You shall never wash my feet, he told Him. What does he mean with “never” ? I shall not tolerate it, I shall never consent to it, I shall never allow it.

Then, the Savior, trying to terrify his indisposed patient by the danger of his own salvation, replies to him: If I do not wash you, you will not have part of me. He says, If I do not wash you, although He was only referring to his feet. In the same manner, it is said that you are trampling me, even if it is only the foot that is trampled on. Peter, perturbed by love and fear, and more frightful of the thought of being withheld from Christ, than to see Him humbled at his feet, says: Lord, not only my feet, but my hands and head as well. (Jn. 13: 6-9)

Jesus says to him: He who has been washed, only has the need of washing his feet, then he is wholly clean. (Jn. 13:10) Perhaps someone intrigued by this may say: “If he is wholly clean, what need does he have to have his feet washed?” The Lord knew well what he was saying, even if our weakness does not penetrate his secrets.

(Tras. by Romeo Potencio)