HOW JESUS CONQUERED PETER
Did you ever receive something that you did not expect from a person that you honored so much that you had no way of expressing your gratitude except to try to refuse to accept the offering? I chose this picture to celebrate Christ the King because I was attracted to the artist's interpretation of Peter's attitude. I can't help but to relate to the artist here. He seems to have captured a reaction of the heart with which I am familiar. He seems to be identifying with Peter. I know I am. I have been in a position to be receiving gratuities from people I admire deeply and I have always felt embarassed because the gesture surpassed my expectations. I find myself reacting like Peter. "No you don't,Lord. You'll never wash my feet."
Jesus knows what's going on, so He says, "Yes, I will. If I don't and I follow your wishes, you will not be a part of Me when it really counts." I've had a dear person tell me once, "Just keep quiet and say 'Thanks' and enjoy it." Did you ever notice how difficult that is?
Jesus knew that. He knew that there is a mysterious source of power and authority in true service. He knew that this gesture was sure to be a seal of the Covenant. He knew that the feet that he was washing were being consecrated to His Mission. These very feet were going to carry the WORD to all of creation. He knew that if His beloved apostles remembered this gesture, they would never forget what He taught them and what He commanded them to do. Through this gesture His Kingship was sealed in their hearts. I think that all the stories and ruminations that I have heard about Peter's reaction through the years have missed this point.
Elsewhere in this blog I have meditated on the Kingship of Service. "Servant Kings".
There, I focused on the action of Jesus. I focused on the towel. Now, I'm focused here:
(Isaiah 52:7) -"How Beautiful on the Mountain are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, Your God Reigns."
True, I am being swayed by the Gospel of Luke. The wonderful stories that Luke tells about Jesus as He walks His way around the beautiful country where He lived. His apostles knew that they were being shown the value of service and the value of carrying the Word to the World. Yes, they still had some to learn, but once it blossomed, they went out and did it. This Kingship of His took hold of their hearts and souls and they went out in the company of the Holy Spirit and made it happen.
This is the Covenant that we live. The New and Everlasting Covenant that makes us who we are. Let's not fight it. Let's say "Thank You, Lord" and make it happen. Jesus shows us that it is not that complicated. I mean, all it takes is a towel, a willingness to fetch water and love people so deeply that we conquer them for Jesus. We go through so much and we make things so complicated for ourselves. We are like Moses. We offer up a ton of excuses why we can't do what God asks of us when all He really wants is for us to be ready...to vote with our feet, so to speak. Walk toward Him; walk side by side with Him; show off that we are walking with the King; no crowns allowed, just towels and a pitcher of water and a good attitude.
Let's remember, we have been washed in the waters of Baptism. We have to vote with our feet for God. If we do that as true disciples we will be just like my man Enoch, "...Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him." (Genesis, 5; 24). Then we will not cry at anyone's funeral, especially not mine.