Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Holy Thursday 18 April 2019
First Reading: Exodus 12: 1-8, 11-14
Second Reading: First Corinthians 11: 23-26
Gospel: John 13: 1-15
Jesus is aware that He is about to conclude His journey toward the Father and, therefore He is about to bring to an end His personal and definitive exodus. Such a passage, going to the Father, takes place through the Cross, the central moment in which Jesus will surrender His life for the good of all humanity.
St. John Evangelist knows how to present Jesus, while He is aware of the last events of His life and therefore, of His mission. So as to affirm that Jesus is not crushed or overcome by the events which threaten His life, but that He is ready to give His life. 
Before, the Evangelist has remarked that His hour had not arrived; but now in the account of the washing of the feet He says that Jesus is aware that His hour is close at hand. Such a conscience is at the basis of the expression of John: “After having loved those who were His in the world, He loved them to the end”. Jesus shows such a love in the gesture of the washing of the feet, which in its symbolical value shows the continuous love in service. 
Jesus is fully conscious of the mission which the Father has entrusted to Him: the salvation of humanity depends on Him. With such an awareness He wishes to show “to His own”, through the washing of the feet, how the work of salvation of the Father is fulfilled and to indicate in such a gesture the surrender of His life for the salvation of all. 
It is the loving obedience of Jesus that we be saved, and a longing desire leads Him to give up His life and to surrender. He is aware that the Father gives Jesus complete freedom of action.
Besides, Jesus knows that His true provenance and the goal of His itinerary is God; He knows that His death on the Cross, the maximum expression of His love, is the last moment of His journey of salvation. His death is an “exodus”; it is the climax of His victory over death, in His surrender (giving His life) Jesus reveals to us the presence of God as the fullness of life and exemption from death.
With this full consciousness of His identity and of His complete liberty Jesus is prepared to fulfill the great and humble gesture of the washing of the feet. Such a gesture of love is described with eight verbs which render the scene absorbing, enthralling and full of significance. The Evangelist, in presenting the last action of Jesus toward His own, uses this rhetorical figure of the accumulation of verbs in order that such a gesture remains impressed in the heart and mind of His disciples and of every reader. The gesture fulfilled by Jesus intends to show that true love is expressed in tangible actions of service. Jesus removes His garments and ties around His waist a towel or apron, a symbol of service. He shows them that love is expressed in service, in giving one’s life for others as He has done.