As Christians, we are a marked people. By virtue of our baptism, we carry always with us a sign, an indentation, perhaps not visible to each other, but a sign that is understood and recognized by God. This understanding of being chosen, understood, and specially recognized by God hearkens back to the time of the Old Testament, to the time of Moses, when all the people of God bore the mark of the Blood of the Lamb. We see in tonight’s Gospel passage the figure of Jesus Christ, weighing in His own mind His own impending death, His own shedding of blood that will go on to be the marker of all generations and all peoples who believe in His message. We see Him not in a position of glory and power, as would befit the Son of God, but instead kneeling in humble service to His friends, the people He has spent so much time with and taught so much. His lesson to them and to us is that the best teaching comes from being an example, from truly living in practice the message of service and gentleness which is at the core of Christian belief. We would do well to meditate on this sense of being “marked,” how despite all of the difficulties that come from our volatile, earthbound hearts, the love of Christ has marked us, and stayed with us, and permeated us as the sun permeates the soil.
O God of mercy, You have ensured that Your love stays always within us, a love which the fires and storms of passion and anger can never fully cloud or destroy. Allow us the strength to recognize that we are called to be firmly in Your service, and through our own works of service allow us to recognize that we are marked with Your love in a special way. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Brother Michael Carter, S.S.E. ’12
First Reading: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel: John 13:1-15
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website