Thursday, 7 April 2011
Jesus of Nazareth 4 - heroism and humility
During the washing of feet, in the atmosphere of farewell that pervades the scene, Peter asks his master quite openly: "Lord, where are you going?" And again he receives a cryptic answer: "Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward". Peter understands that Jesus is speaking of his imminent death, and he now wants to emphasise his radical fidelity even unto death: "Why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you". Indeed, shortly afterward on the Mount of Olives, he rushes in with his sword, ready to put his intention into effect. But he must learn that even martyrdom is no heroic achievement: rather, it is a grace to be able to suffer for Jesus. He must bid farewell to the heroism of personal deeds and learn the humility of the disciple.