The Washing of the Disciples’ Feet

April 1, 2021


Sunday Scripture Readings

Explore the Sunday Gospel


JN 13:1-15

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples' feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
"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."
Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet."
Jesus answered him,
"Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me."
Simon Peter said to him,
"Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well."
Jesus said to him,
"Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all."
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean."

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another's feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do."


meet our extended family

St. Lawrence (Feast Day August 10)

c. 225 - August 10, 258

Lawrence was a Roman deacon under Pope Sixtus II. We know very little about his life, but he has made a deep and lasting impression on the early Church. In AD 258, Emperor Valerian issued an edict: all bishops, priests and deacons must be put to death. Saint Lawrence, other deacons, and Pope Sixtus II were apprehended. The Pope was killed, but the emperor offered to spare Lawrence’s life, in exchange for his handing over of “the treasures of the Church.” He imagined that the Christians must have considerable treasure because of the sacred vessels that were used at Mass. Lawrence acknowledged that the Church was indeed rich and asked for time to get everything in order and make an inventory. After three days he gathered a great number of blind, lame, maimed, leprous, orphaned, and widowed persons and put them in rows. When the emperor arrived, Lawrence simply said, “These are the treasures of the Church.” The emperor was so angry he had a great gridiron prepared with coals beneath it, and had Lawrence’s body placed upon it. After the martyr had suffered the pain for a long time, the legend concludes, he made his famous cheerful remark: “It is well done. Turn me over!”

St. Lawrence is buried in Rome and the basilica built over his tomb has become one of the seven pilgrim churches in Rome.


Take time to chat

·       In today’s Gospel, Jesus demonstrates humble service by washing the disciples’ feet. What does it mean to be humble? Why is humility an attractive quality in an individual?

·       Share a time when you performed an act of service for someone. How did that make you feel?

·       At the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we celebrate Jesus’ Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. Why is the Eucharist important to you?

·       St. Lawrence presented to the emperor those who were outcast and called them the treasures of the Church. Why are people more important than gold and riches?


Recipe of the week

Easy Lamb Chops

On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples. The Passover meal included eating roasted lamb. Remember Jesus’ Last Supper with this easy meal!

8 - 1/2-inch-thick lamb loin chops (about 2 pounds), fatty tips trimmed

salt and freshly ground pepper

pinch of dried thyme

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. of minced garlic

1 sliced onion

3 Tbsp. red wine or water

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp. minced parsley

pinch of crushed red pepper

Step 1:

Season the lamb with salt and pepper and sprinkle lightly with thyme. In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb chops and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until the chops are browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops, add onion and cook until the chops are browned, (about 2 minutes longer for medium meat). Transfer the chops to plates, leaving the garlic in the skillet.

Step 2:

Add the water, lemon juice, parsley and crushed red pepper to the pan and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom, until sizzling, about 1 minute. Pour the pan sauce over the lamb chops and serve immediately.

Submitted by the Hall Family from Divine Child, Dearborn


Family Fun

Family Foot Washing

On Holy Thursday, we remember the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. At the Mass of the Last Supper, we hear the story from the Gospel of St. John, of Jesus washing his apostles’ feet. The foot washing scene in the Gospel is not only meant to be an example of humble service, but also a record of the institution of the priesthood. Today’s foot washing activity helps families remember that we too are called to mirror Christ’s humility and serve one another.

Invite your family to wash each other’s feet at home. Ensure that everyone gets a turn. You’ll need some towels (one for the floor and others for drying the feet), a chair, a pitcher or large glass of warm water, and a basin or large bowl. Prepare the space with a towel on the floor and a chair on top of that. Have the other items nearby. Begin by reading the Gospel. Then invite each family member to have their feet washed. When someone gets their feet washed:

•                Invite them to sit in the chair.

•                Place their feet over the large bowl.

•                Pour the warm water over their feet.

•                Dry their feet with a towel.

•                Optional: Kiss the top of their feet when you are finished.

•                Then invite the next person to sit in the chair to have their feet washed.


Other Ideas


Family Prayer

Breastplate of St. Patrick

On Holy Thursday, we recall how Jesus showed us to serve one another and gave us the gift of the Eucharist. The breastplate of St. Patrick reminds us that Christ is always with us. Pray it together as a family.

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in the Threeness,

Through confession of the Oneness

of the Creator of creation.

Liturgy Link

Liga a la Liturgia

What is different about how the Mass of the Lord’s Supper ends versus how all other Masses end? If you do not attend this Mass, you can look it up on the internet.

Unleashing the Gospel in your Family

Haz Llegar el Evangelioen tu Familia

Attend the Mass of the Lord's Supper as a family or do the foot washing activity in your home.

¡Datos Interesantes!

Fun Facts!

Text Link

At every Mass, the priest uses the exact words that Jesus said at the Last Supper to transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. These are called the Words of Institution:

Take this, all of you, and eat of it:

for this is my body which will be given up for you.

Take this, all of you, and drink from it:

for this is the chalice of my blood,

the blood of the new and eternal covenant.

which will be poured out for you and for many

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this in memory of me.