Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Acts 13:13-25; Ps 89:2,3,21,22,25,27; Jn13:16-20
“A man after my own heart who will fulfill my every wish.”

David the King was held responsible for the composition of the psalms. His memory is held dear in Israel because he was dear to The LORD, “I have found David son of Jesse to be a man after my own heart who will fulfill my every wish.” David was the anointed one of God; upon him the Father’s hand rested, and he was made strong by wielding the very arm of God. Such tenderness evoked songs from the heart of David who was after God’s own heart. David sang and composed songs through both moments of victory and times of mourning. Even though God’s favor found David; David was not always faithful to such favor. David betrayed God; he did not fulfill God’s every wish. Yet, the favor of the LORD is established forever; it is through David’s descendant that God’s faithfulness shall be exulted. God has brought forth from David’s line Jesus of whom the Psalmist writes, He shall say of me, “You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.”

Saint Paul had an exhortation to address to the faithful in Antioch in Pisidia. He sang to his fellow Israelites and to those others who reverence the LORD God. As a preacher Saint Paul knew how to stir up the communal memory. He reminded them of all the great ones who came from ages past, and he ended up with the Greatest One, Jesus the descendant of King David. In Jesus, the true and faithful son of David, God had found the man after his own heart, who would fulfill his every wish. Finally, after all those generations, God found one to anoint with the Holy Spirit. “John heralded the coming of Jesus by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.” Jesus, God’s Anointed, would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Indeed, he would bring to fulfillment both the Father’s plan and the promise of David’s heart. In the message and ministry of the Lord Jesus the desire of David to bring all people to worship the One True God is fulfilled. Repentance for Israel’s sin and for the unfaithfulness of every nation is now available through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, Son of David and Son of God.

Today’s gospel brings us back to the Last Supper to just after the washing of the feet. In this fulfillment of the Passover Meal the Lord Jesus speaks of his fulfillment of the Scriptures, “he who partook of bread with me has raised his heel against me.” The Lord speaks of Judas and all his betrayers throughout history, even among those he has chosen. These words of prophecy and fulfillment are spoken so that the disciples might continue to believe even when the Lord Jesus is rejected. The Lord Jesus wants those after his own heart to believe what he says that he is the great I AM. In these words of self-revelation the Lord reassures of his friends that he knows who he is and that he wants them to know him as well. This Betrayed One is The Sent One who never raises his heel against the Father’s will; the Lord Jesus fulfills the Father’s every wish. When we come to know that the Lord Jesus fulfills the Father’s will by his life of loving service, then we come to know the Father. When we put this knowledge into practice then we too are willing to wash the feet of those who partake of the Eucharist with us, and those who raise up their heels against us. In the Lord Jesus’ faithful and sacrificial love we encounter the unexpected faithfulness of God to David. Just as the Lord Jesus was tender and loving with Judas his betrayer, so too we are expected to be with those who betray us. The Eucharist makes us servants through, with, and in the Faithful Servant whose tenderness knows no bounds.