Listening to St. Mark's Gospel this past Sunday, I realized just how much Easter imagery there is in the Advent and Nativity stories. The Gospel story was one I know well, that of St. John the Baptist and his ministry leading up to the baptism of our Lord. The lines that really caught my attention were these:
"And he preached, saying, 'After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.'" (Mark 1:7)
There was nothing new here. I had heard these words of the Baptist a hundred times over. Of course when some of his contemporaries saw him as the long awaited Messiah, John knew to point them towards Jesus; the one who is mightier than all of the prophets, God himself incarnate.
What struck me was the Easter parallel that came to mind. Although St. John the Baptist, and none of us for that matter, would ever dream of being worthy to untie the Lord's sandals, during the Last Supper he humbled himself to wash the feet of his disciples - the master becoming the servant. It's little wonder then, that when St. Peter realized what was happening, that Christ was cleansing him of his sins, he asked Jesus to not only wash his feet, but his head and body as well.
If our Saviour can stoop so low as to serve us by washing our feet; what servitude of our Lord and of each other are we called to? And do we answer?