Reflection on the Gospel -Easter 5C (John 13:31-35)

The literary context for today’s gospel reading is Jesus’ final meal with his disciples. Jesus has washed the feet of his foot-weary table companions, and has thus provided an example of what it means to love. What he has done for them, they are to do for one another. In other words, no form of service is too menial for a Christian disciple, and privileged exemption from service of others has no place in gospel living or in gospel leadership. It seems clear that our new pope, Francis I, has witnessed to this.