Powerful words are spoken tonight. Jesus knows that the hour has come. He knows that the Father has given him everything. He knows that he has come from God and will soon return to Him. The full communion with the Father is the source of his peace, even in times of distress. There is talk of death, when it is said that everything "goes to the Father", through Easter.
On this day, there is no Mass without the people, but the Eucharist is celebrated with the entire community, in the evening. Solemnity and intimacy mark the last hours with Jesus in his earthly life, during which he accomplishes the greatest things: the institution of the Eucharist ("this is my body ... this is my blood") and of the ministerial priesthood ("do this in memory of me "), showing how we must live ("You also ought to wash one another‘s feet"); His commandment ("Love one another") and his will ("May they be one, and may the world know that you have loved them"). In a word, as John says, "He loved them to the end"—until the last moment, to the last drop of his blood. More was not possible, even for God! A God on his knees before us, to wash our feet. Jesus‘ gesture is a sacrament; it is a sign that makes what it accomplishes visible. The Gospel of John does not contain an account of the Last Supper; the foot-washing narrative replaces it, as it also does the words over the bread and wine. The gesture is that of a servant; it is an infinitely merciful sction that purifies and liberates. Divine mercy given to all, even to Judas, evoked anonymously in the end. Jesus washes even the feet of the one who will betray him. Just before the foot-washing, Jesus takes off his tunic and, then, he puts it on again. This symbolizes descent before the exaltation, humiliation before manifest lordship.