In today’s Gospel from the Mass (John 13:1-15), both Peter and Judas get their feet washed; but with very different results:

[1] Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. [2] And during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him,  [3] Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, [4] rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. [5] Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. [6] He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” [7] Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand.” [8] Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part in me.” [9] Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” [10] Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not every one of you.” [11] For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “You are not all clean.” [12]When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? [13] You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.

Jesus offers His Mercy to all, but all are not ready to accept it:

  • Jesus, preparing for the Passion, puts aside His own concerns, and strips down, to wash the feet of the disciples.
  • Despite knowing that Judas has decided to betray Him, Judas freely allows Jesus to wash his feet.
  • Peter, in stark contrast, would never intend to betray Jesus, does not feel worthy for Christ to wash his feet and tries to resist.  He quickly begs for an even fully washing when Jesus says, “If I do not wash you, you have no part in Me.”
  • Jesus washes, but then says, “You are not all clean.”  Jesus knows the interior of men’s hearts.
  • Later, Judas and Peter both eat of the Eucharist (Mark 14:20-24).

Peter, with clean feet and a clean heart, will deny the Lord 3 times before day break.  He will repent and return to the Risen Christ and serve Him unflinchingly until Peter’s own martyrdom.

Judas, with clean feet and a dirty heart, will betray the Lord with a kiss and hang himself.

Clearly, the gift of faith has something to do with Salvation.  So does repentance, contrition and returning to Jesus Christ with full heart.

Don’t think that clean feet will save you, they won’t.