As the glorious disciples, in the washing of the feet, were enlightened, the profane Judas, ravaged by greed, was benighted. And to the lawless judges he surrenders You the just judge. Consider, you who love money, the one who hanged himself for the sake of it. Shun the insatiate heart that could dare such a deed against the Teacher. Lord, benevolent above all humans, glory to You.Apolytikion of Holy Thursday
It is necessary for us to meet certain conditions so that we could participate in the Mystical Supper. We learn about these necessary preconditions during the Matines from the Gospel on Holy Thursday. Christ Himself, gives us an example and teaches us as to how we should prepare ourselves to be with Him, in His company, in His enlightenment, to be one with Him. First of all, purity. “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and grided himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded” (John 13, 3-5). The meaning of washing the disciples’ feet is to witness to the necessity of purity, both physical and spiritual, for which each and every one of us should strive. Yes, it is impossible for a man to remain without sin, but repentance and God’s mercy purify the man. God did everything to wash away and cleanse our sins. Second, by washing the feet of the apostles, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things, shows an extreme humility and an example of dedicated service: “Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13, 12-15). In addition to the spiritual and physical purity, we need to devote ourselves to serving one another, in goodness, nobility, in sacrificial love and for a constant spiritual growth. Third, humility. The humility exhibited by our Lord through the washing disciples’ feet, and the instruction given to the disciples to consider themselves as the last among people: “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20, 25-28).