Why did Jesus wash their stinky feet?

At the Last Supper, why did Jesus wash the disciples' feet?
a)  Because they were dirty and smelled?
b)  To teach them what God's mission is really about and how to do it?
c)  Because it brought Jesus joy
d)  All of the above
The answer may surprise you.

a)  Yes, they indeed were dirty and likely smelled.  As is the situation in many developing countries today, people during the time of Jesus either wore sandals (if they had means) or more likely if they were poor, went around barefoot.   The dusty and muddy paths and roads would likely have contained garbage and human and animal waste.  It was Jewish custom at the time to have a bowl of water and towels at the door for guests to wash their feet.  And, if they were wealthy, they would have a servant available to do it....usually the servant who was lowest in the pecking order.

b)  Yes.  God is love.  Jesus was sent by the trinity to show humanity God's mission of love.   Knowing that the end was near, Jesus had one last night to hammer home to his often dense disciples what God's mission of love really means and how to do it.  Instead of using a PowerPoint presentation, as they entered the upper room, he washed their feet.  He showed them that love is done through service, by taking care of the needs of others.  And, that it is best done from the bottom up rather than from the top down.  He literally got down on the ground and ministered to the part of the disciples that touched the earth, cleaning and caressing their tired and dirty feet.

c) Yes.  Real joy, not the fleeting pleasure or momentary happiness, but the sense of profound well being and contentment that grounds us with God and all creation, comes from giving love away.   It is the paradox of love.  The more you give it away, the more it grows within us.  Pope Francis reminds us of this in Joy of the Gospel:
“Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others”. When the Church summons Christians to take up the task of evangelization, she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfillment. For “here we discover a profound law of reality: that life is attained and matures in the measure that it is offered up in order to give life to others. This is certainly what mission means”. EG 10
Jesus taught them, and teaches us, an important lesson.  When you're anxious about what is going to happen, when you're sad, when you feel small and insignificant, when it seems like the wheels are coming off the bus, this is the best thing to do:  focus on serving others.  Wash their feet.  Give love away.    When Jesus washed their feet he not only showed them what God's mission is about and how to do it, he gave his love away and as always happens when you do that, he experienced the joy that most likely helped him get through the next day as he continued to give it all away.  He loved everyone, even those who betrayed him, abandoned him, condemned him, tortured him and even killed him.  And after a few days, when it looked like he had completely emptied himself and was cold and dead, all the love he gave away returned to him and was magnified in the glorious resurrection.  And the mission continued...
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