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Summary: Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Literally "unto eternity." Peter grasped that complicity in this act involved acceptance of a radical reinterpretation of his own life-world and ours!

Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet."

Literally "unto eternity." Peter grasped that complicity in this act involved acceptance of a radical reinterpretation of his own life-world, a genuine conversion of some kind which he was not prepared to undergo.

Jesus confirms this by replying, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.

Unless Peter submits to the feet washing ritual reveals he won’t have a fruitful sacerdotal sharing in Christ because feet washing is also part of the scriptural root of the sacrament of holy orders about service.

(“unless”) indicates a real transformation of change of status:

Unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

Unless I wash you, you have no part in me. (13:8)

Before Peter even objected, Jesus had said to him,

"What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later."

The terminology of "now" and "later" have a rich theological purpose.

The disciples did not understand at first why Jesus was crucified, but after Jesus was glorified, they remembered what had been written in the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.

1 Timothy 1:13 says, “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.”

By being broken and given for us in the Eucharist, Jesus is giving us an example and a commandment for how we are to be broken and given for each other, by washing each other’s feet.

May we know now on a deeper level. And we may do.

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