Pope Francis on Service

Holy Thursday – 2013 — A Caress of Jesus  

This is moving. Jesus, washing the feet of his disciples. Peter  didn’t understand it at all, he refused. But Jesus explained it  for him. Jesus—God—did this! He himself explains to his disciples: “Do you know what I have done to you? You call  me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I  am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,  you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you  an example, that you also should do as I have done to you”  (John 13:12-15).  

It is the Lord’s example: he is the most important, and he  washes feet, because with us what is highest must be at the  service of others. This is a symbol, it is a sign, right? Washing  feet means: “I am at your service.” And with us, too, don’t we  have to wash each other’s feet day after day? But what does  this mean? That all of us must help one another. Sometimes  I am angry with someone or other. . . but. . . let it go, let  it go, and if he or she asks you a favor, do it.

Help one another: this is what Jesus teaches us and this is  what I am doing, and doing with all my heart, because it is  my duty. As a priest and a bishop, I must be at your service.  But it is a duty which comes from my heart: I love it. I love  this, and I love to do it because that is what the Lord has  taught me to do. But you, too, help one another: help one  another always. In this way, by helping one another, we will  do some good.

Now we will perform this ceremony of washing feet, and  let us think, let each one of us think: “Am I really willing,  willing to serve, to help others?” Let us think about this, just  this. And let us think that this sign is a caress of Jesus, which  Jesus gives, because this is the real reason why Jesus came: to  serve, to help us.

Pope Francis, Homily for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Prison for  Minors in Rome