During the Last Supper Jesus bequeaths to the disciples the new commandment. By washing their feet, Jesus makes real and concrete the defining feature of intentional disciples and true followers – humility and charity.
To not miss the most salient point, Jesus emphasizes the enduring meaning of His loving action: “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do” (John 13:15).
Loving assistance, not only in comfortable moments and agreeable circumstances, but equally in difficult and disagreeable ones. Loving assistance to neighbor, even when neighbor is dismal and despondent. Imitating Jesus by meeting everyone kindly, including those who are ungrateful and even those who have acted cruelly and unjustly.
Jesus gave His life the salvation of His own – us – and tells us that our love is incomplete if we will not sacrifice ourselves generously for others.