Memorial of St Catherine of Siena

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.

April 29, 2021

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter

John 13:16-20

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.”

If you’ve been able to attend our daily Mass this week you have noticed that Jesus has really been laying out his relationship with God – in other words, he has been telling of how he and the Father are one.

Up to this week we have been heard how the Holy Spirit fits in all this. Last Thursday we talked about how the prophets had said, “They will all be taught by God.” How God draws us to him through teaching. How are we taught? By Jesus, His Word. But how are we “drawn”? That is the Holy Spirit.

I loved how the Gospel opens today. We are told how Jesus has just washed the feet of the Apostles. Remember, Peter said Jesus wasn’t going to wash his feet but when told if he didn’t allow Jesus to wash his feet then . . . Peter would have no part of Jesus.

But why did Jesus need to wash the feet of the Apostles? Because he knew them and knew they were arrogant because of their station – Apostles of Jesus. This is why I love the contrast the Catholic Church draws today. Jesus is the son of God and you can’t get higher than that and yet here he is washing the feet of the Apostles – a bunch of arrogant, immature men who will become the leaders of the church established by Jesus. Remember, James and John fought over who would sit at the right and left hand of Jesus. Peter chastised Jesus for saying he must die and that he would never wash the feet of Peter.

Catherine of Siena is one of only 4 women recognized as doctors of the church. This means she was a very powerful influence over the early church. She was loved and respected. She was a woman who had visions. She was a powerful writer. She was indeed a powerful leader as a simple Dominican Sister.

But she wasn’t arrogant or willful or immature in her faith as the men dining with Jesus in the Gospel today.

She fought for the Faith. She stood against the wickedness of the men who were fighting over the Papacy at the time. She fought for righteousness. She fought for God.

For her, it wasn’t about power, it was about right.

Jesus would never have had to wash the feet of Catherine.

At least that’s what I heard Him say…

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