Our response to those we disagree with, those who we see as ‘the other’, or those who have let us down, can be indifference rather than compassion.
Jesus models compassion to all at the Passover Supper. He has compassion upon Judas who would betray him and on Peter who would deny him.
If you are finding it hard to be compassionate, strive to forgive and to love. With love comes compassion for others.
A few days later, Jesus and his friends had gathered to share their Passover evening meal. In a hot and dusty land, feet in open sandals get very dirty. It was the usually the task of the lowest slave in the household to wash the feet of guests when they arrived, but on this occasion:
John’s gospel tells us:
“Jesus got up, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist and bent down to lovingly wash the feet of his disciples.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet serving one another. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done to you.”
Jesus as the foot-washing King of Love spells out what he means when he says to his disciples:
“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
The day is known as Maundy Thursday and that comes from the Latin for commandment “mandatum” – reminding us of this new commandment to love.
Jesus, I pray that when we disagree with others
or when someone has let us down
that we might seek to forgive and love them
as you love us.