“Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” - 1 Corinthians 11:23-24.
"If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” – Jn 13:14-15
People who know they are about to die take special leave of their loved ones. Their last words and actions sum up their greatest hopes and desires for those they love. At the Last Supper, Jesus left his disciples two acts of remembrance. First, Jesus took the bread, blessed, broke, and gave it to his disciples. Second, he washed their feet.
When Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, he summarized in these gestures his own life. He is chosen to reveal God’s limitless love, blessed at his baptism in the Jordan River, broken on the cross, and given as bread to the world. Being chosen, blessed, broken, and given is the sacred journey of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ.
It is also our journey. We remember Jesus by recalling what he did. Moreover, we remember him when we live as people chosen, blessed, broken, and given as food for the world. We become the very body of Christ that is taken, blessed, broken, and given. Likewise, we remember him when we wash one another’s feet with the same self-giving love that he loved. The Eucharist and feet washing are integral acts remembrance. By remembering in these ways, we become more like Christ.
"Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of the Eucharist. Help us to remember in becoming more like you.”
Inspired by Henri Nouwen