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Holy Thursday, The Last Supper, Year B – 2024

Human beings are complex beings, to say the least!
Somehow, we know this from experience.
The scene of the Last Supper of Jesus with his apostles gives us a vivid picture of it as well (Jean 13:1-15).
Especially the dialogue between Jesus and Peter.

It starts silently as Jesus comes near to Peter and kneels to wash his feet.
Bewildered – I think this is a fair description of him – Peter questions Jesus:

“Lord, do you wash my feet?”

This seems an impossible course of action – it is absolutely unworthy of Jesus, their Master!
Jesus explains that Peter cannot understand now, but he will understand later.
Peter remains adamant:

“You shall never wash my feet.”

He will finally accept when Jesus links this gesture to the relationship with him that Peter wants very much, of course.

The attitude of Peter is perhaps characteristic of our reaction in certain situations…
We present God with… questions and protestations!…
It is as if, somehow, we knew better than God!

God could give us the answer of Jesus to Peter:
“You cannot understand now…”

It is so very true: there are many situations that puzzle us.
Many events baffle us completely.
We are bewildered by what takes place before our eyes, or in our lives.

Perhaps we need to follow the example Peter’s yielding to Jesus’ request.
What brought the change in the apostle was his desire to remain for ever the friend of Jesus.
His strong affirmation: “You shall never wash my feet”,
was transformed by his eagerness to remain a faithful friend and disciple for ever…

Our repeated ‘never’ can also be transformed into ‘for ever’…
Thus becoming, in our turn, faithful friends and disciples of Christ.


Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at:


Source: Image: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Holy Thursday, Year A – 2023

We know that God is all powerful.
We call him ‘the Almighty’ (Psalm 91:1).
We repeat that he can do all things (Jeremiah 32:27).
We have learned that “nothing is impossible to God” (Luke 1:37).

And yet… yet, on this very special day – Holy Thursday – we have yet to learn.
We have to learn to allow God, yes, to allow God to have his way with us!

This may sound strange, but it is so much part of our experience –
in so many situations we pretend we know better than God!

This was exactly the reaction of Peter when Jesus knelt before him to wash his feet (John 13:1-15).
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus had to use strong language to bring Peter to accept.
In no uncertain terms, Jesus said to him:
“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
In other words: “You can no longer be by friend if I do not wash your feet”.

Jesus assured Peter:
“You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

How many times would God need to say this to us?!
Our daily life is full of situations when we do not understand God’s ways.
The events taking place – in our family, at work, in the world – are really confusing.
The situations we are faced with leave us puzzled.
Problems, difficulties, failures of all kinds, are just too much for us.

“Later you will understand…”
God’s closeness, God’s friendship, will enable us to understand… later…
To understand, and to realize, that it was the best for us.

Later… but sometimes, at the moment, it feels very much like… a crucifixion…
Christ understands… he has gone this way before us.
He can go this way with us now…


Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French at:


Source: Image:


Holy Thursday, Year C – 2022

Parents sometimes ask their children: “Do you understand?”
A teacher will ask the same question to a class of students.
A contractor may use the same words addressing workers at a building site.

« Do you understand? »

When, at the  Last Supper, Jesus asked this question from his apostles (John 13:1-15),
his voice must have carried a special accent and intensity.
He had just been washing their feet – he, their Master.
In spite of Peter’s objection, he had done this work usually done by a servant.

“Do you understand what I have done to you?”

The apostles may have thought they did, yet soon after, it was obvious that they had understood very little.
They would need their whole life, they would need, in fact, the help of the Holy Spirit to understand –
understand what God had done to them… through Jesus.

What if the question were addressed to us?…
We are, indeed, confronted to the same questioning day after day:
Do we understand what God does to us… for us?…

Do we understand the kind of God he is?
Do we understand what he has made us to be… and what he wants us to become?

Perhaps we, too, need the help of the Holy Spirit and…
the understanding may come to us all through our life.

Note: And another reflection, on a different theme, is available in French at:


Source: Image: