"Jesus washing the disciples' feet shows us how God loves and how his disciples, then as now, are called to love and to love 'to the very end.'

"The washing of the feet is finally a mystery, like so many of Jesus' acts. We enter into this mystery gradually, though events in which we suffer loss and are stripped more and more of all we possess. When Jesus tells Peter that he will understand 'later,' Jesus is telling all of his disciples that it is only after a dark night of not knowing, and only through a new gift of the Holy Spirit, that we can penetrate this mystery and live it.

"Jesus invites his friends to lay down the garments which give them a special status, to remove the masks that hide their real selves and to present themselves to others humbly, vulnerably, with all their poverty. To become humble and small requires a loving heart, purified of its fears and human security, ready to love to the end, in order to give life to others."