“The tiredness of priests! Do you know how often I think about this weariness which all of you experience? The most profound and mysterious image of how the Lord deals with our pastoral tiredness is that, ‘having loved his own, he loved them to the end’: the scene of his washing the feet of his disciples, I like to think of this as the cleansing of discipleship. The Lord purifies the path of discipleship itself. He gets involved with us, becomes personally responsible for removing every stain, all that grimy, worldly smog which clings to us from the journey we make in his name.
“The disciples did not understand the washing of the feet. In that time, it was customary to do this. Because the people, when they arrived at a house, had dirty feet from the dust of the road. There were not cobblestones in those days…. And at the entrance of the house, your feet were washed. But this was not done by the head of the house. It was done by slaves. It was the work of slaves. And Jesus washed our feet like a slave. The Lord, when he washes our feet, cleanses everything. He purifies us. He makes us again feel his love.
“I will wash the feet of 12 of you, today. But I also need to be cleansed by the Lord. Pray for this during this Mass, that the Lord also washes my filth and that I become more your slave and more a slave in the service of the people, like Jesus was.”
Pope Francis, excerpt, Homily for Holy Thursday, April 2, 2015