Pope Francis preached an extemporaneous homily during the celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which was held at S. Maria della Provvidenza, a rehabilitation and long-term care facility in the suburbs of Rome.
The following is an English translation of Pope Francis’ reflections.
We heard what Jesus did in the Last Supper: it was a farewell gesture. It is the legacy he left us. He is God and he made himself servant, our servant. And this is the legacy: you also must be servants of one another. And He did this out of love: you also must love one another and be servants in love. This is the legacy that Jesus left us.
And he does this gesture of washing the feet, which is a symbolic gesture: slaves did it, servants did it for those at table, to people who came to lunch, to dinner because at that time the streets were all of earth and when they entered the house it was necessary to wash their feet.
And Jesus did a gesture, a work, a service of a slave, of a servant. And he leaves this as legacy to us. We must be servants of one another. And because of this, the Church, on this day, in which the Last Supper is commemorated, when Jesus instituted the Eucharist, also does, during the ceremony, this gesture of washing the feet, which reminds us that we must be servants of one another.
Now I will do this gesture, but all of us, in our heart, must think of others and think of the love that Jesus tells us we must have for others, and we think also how we can serve them better, other persons. Because this is what Jesus wished us to do.[Translation by ZENIT]