Lord, have Mercy!

The Last Supper Discourse from John’s gospel, read as a mystagogic catechesis, begins appropriately in our lectionary today with Jesus washing his disciples’ feet– an act of mercy– and continues with a reminder of human sinfulness and  betrayal. He did not call perfect disciples; he does not eat with perfect disciples, nor does he send out perfect disciples.

Jesus took the form of a slave when he came among us today’s gospel says.  At every Eucharist he comes to wash away our sins we’re reminded in the initial rites of the Mass. At the same time we’re call to be merciful, following him.

“You were sent to heal the contrite, Lord have mercy.                                                                You came to call sinners, Christ have mercy.                                                                          You plead for us at the right hand of the Father, Lord have mercy.”

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.” (John 13:16-20)

The Last Supper Discourse is a wonderful way to reflect on the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. 

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