4th week in Easter Time, Thursday – 7th May 2020 — Gospel: Jn 13,16-20
Sharing in Jesus’ unity
This section flows from the powerful symbolic action of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Jesus’ model of self-giving and humble service is a turning point for Jesus as he heads to his death and for the disciples as they are commissioned for a new role. The ‘sent’ language (Jn 13,16.20) reiterates that Jesus’ action functions as a commissioning. Later Jesus tells his followers, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (Jn 20,21; also 17,18). We know Jesus repeatedly refers to his connection with the Father when he is asked about what he does or why he does it. His unity with the Father determines his actions and his mission. While the disciples’ actions in the world may differ, Jesus’ example shows that their work in the world should flow out of their shared mission as “being sent” by the Father. In this way the disciples are brought into the unity that Jesus shares with the Father and leads us in understanding our own identity and mission as well. Just as Jesus’ deeds flow from his connection with the one who sent him, so his followers’ mission focus should flow from their shared unity with God, the Father.