Thursday, April 2, 2015

Holy Thursday Meditation: The Washing of Feet

(Monreale Cathedral)
“And the Lord appeared to Abraham in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day. And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground. And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant: But I will fetch a little water, and wash ye your feet, and rest ye under the tree. And they said: Do as thou hast spoken.” (Genesis 18)

(Rudolf von Ems)
“And David's servants came to Abigail to Carmel, and spoke to her, saying: David hath sent us to thee, to take thee to himself for a wife. And she arose and bowed herself down with her face to the earth, and said: Behold, let thy servant be a handmaid, to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. And Abigail arose, and made haste, and got upon an ass, and five damsels went with her, her waiting maids, and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife.” (1 Kings 25)

(Església de Santa Magdalena, Esplugues)
“And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that he sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment; And standing behind at his feet, she began to wash his feet, with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And turning to the woman, he said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she with tears hath washed my feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. And he said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee.” (Luke 7)

(Duccio di Buoninsegna)
“After that, he putteth water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. He cometh therefore to Simon Peter. And Peter saith to him: Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered, and said to him: What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith to him: Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him: If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me. Simon Peter saith to him: Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him: He that is washed, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all.” (John 13)

(Ford Madox Brown)
“Where now are they who spit on their fellow-servants? Where now they who demand honors? Christ washed the feet of the traitor, the sacrilegious, the thief, and that close to the time of the betrayal, and incurable as he was, made him a partaker of His table; and are you highminded, and do you draw up your eyebrows? What pride should not this remove? What kind of folly and insolence should it not annihilate! He who sits upon the Cherubim washed the feet of the traitor, and do you, O man, you that are earth and ashes and cinders and dust, do you exalt yourself, and are you highminded? And how great a hell would you not deserve?” (St. John Chrysostom)

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