I will Wash Feet of Pope Francis, in Public, If …

Jesus washing the feet of his disciples

Written by Zia H Shah MD

The synoptic gospels, Mark 14:22-25Matthew 26:26-29Luke 22:13-20, depict Jesus as presiding over the Last Supper. References to Jesus’ body and blood foreshadow his crucifixion, and he identifies them as a new covenant.[21] In the gospel of John, the account of the Last Supper has no mention of Jesus taking bread and “the cup” and speaking of them as his body and blood; instead it recounts his humble act of washing the disciples’ feet.  (John 13:1-17)

The Gospel of John was the last of the four canonical Gospels to be written and perhaps the writer saw befitting to elevate the stature of the apostles, especially Peter’s, to base the Church on their authority.

Hence, their feet washed by Jesus, himself.

Regardless of the reasons of the opposing stories between the synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John, about the all important night in the Christian history, this is the account, where in, the washing of feet finds a precedence, to express ones humility.

Pope Francis washing and kissing feet of prisoners, as a new way to celebrate Easter

This year Pope Francis not only washed the feet of prisoners but also of a Muslim to express his humility and his solidarity with the vulnerable in human society and of all different faiths.

We applaud his gesture of humility and openness to other faiths, especially Islam.

Some have alleged that it may only be a publicity stunt.  We invite the Pope to prove them wrong and demonstrate his humility in other ways that cannot be construed in negative light.

I know the Pope has also emphasized open dialogue with Judaism, Islam and atheism on more than one occasion.

Therefore, we invite him to visit the Muslim Times and engage with us in a dialogue.  We want his indulgence in discussing many of the fundamental teachings of Christianity.

We have posts in the Muslim Times about Trinity, nature of Jesus, Eucharist, vicarious atonement, Original Sin, status of mother Mary and many others.

We will be delighted, possibly ecstatic, to discuss with him, his understanding of Christianity and would like to learn from him, where we have gone wrong in understanding these all important doctrines of Christianity.

If Pope Francis will demonstrate his humility and openness by visiting us, I will have no reservation, in personally washing his feet publically, when he visits USA.

I know the Pope does not have time to regularly read the Muslim Times, but we will bank on our Catholic readers to deliver this invitation to him.

I will also personally tweet it to him and wait his response.

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17 replies

  1. Perhaps you are guilty of nudging the Publicity stunt angle a little yourselves by inviting Pope Francis to come visit you at Muslim Times. Catholics are prepared to dialogue with Muslims and I do this personally everyday at my work place. However I wouldn’t advise Pope Francis to come and visit you because you always play to the gallery by misquoting and misjudging and making sweeping generalizations about deeply held Christian beliefs and matters of faith which have undergone years of Christian scholarship. It would be more constructive to clean up your own back yard and heal the sectarian and religious divides that abound in the Islamic faith especially between Sunnis and Shiites don’t you think. Then you would have much more credibility in the huge task of trying to straighten up the Christians.
    It wouldn’t be a sweeping generalization to say that most of the killings and violence and Church desecration are firmly in your backyard. Not to mention Mosque destruction’s. Before you start washing the feet of a Pope turn it around while there is no media attention and cameras to play to and seek out your own people to dialogue with and mend bridges. Then you will truly have more credibility and more Catholics will sit up and listen to you. At the moment I wouldn’t want to enhance your egos giving you the attention you crave so badly.

    • Dear Mike, as you have been reading The Muslim Times for quite sometimes I am sure you are aware that we are addressing our peaceful message not only to Christians, but also to Muslims (and the rest of the world).

  2. Mike you know the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is being persecuted in the same way as was Hazrat Jesus (pbum), The Holy Prophet ( paboAbeuh), the early Christians, the early Muslims and now Ahmadi Muslims. Our motto is ‘love for all, hatred for none’ – true Islam which is the culmination of all Abrahamic religions.
    Our message is for all alike for which we are being most inhumanly persecuted in so-called Islamic countries.

    Surely, you are aware of that? So how can you write in such a narrow-minded way? Please improve your knowledge and be broad-minded.

  3. Dear Mike, welcome. There may be no need to call respected Pope for a dialogue when you are available and (may be) willing to indulge in some discussion.

    You know the problems being raised on this forum. Kindly address your issues of original sin, death coming from sin, man-god, Trinity, and Mosaic law being a curse. Please do us favor.
    There is no need to tell Ahmadis to handle the miscreant muslims. Such people are in every faith, community. I heard (and read) one Protestant abusing the last Pope. The abuse was so much that I could not bear to read any longer.

    Yo can see that Ahmadis are trying hard all over the world to give the message of peace to other so-called Muslims even in the face of much persecution. Ahmadis are doing their job. Will you now take up the job of explaining the Church dogmas?

    There is no harsh feeling. It is a gentle request to you as you have come forward.

  4. Tank you Mike for your presence and willingness to discuss. Love for all, Hatred for none is our message. At the end of September we are going to organize an inter religious conference here in Paris. Respected guests from other faiths are also going to participate. The theme is, “Extremism is the result of ignorance, not religion”. We believe in all the prophets and thus the religions brought by them, so we respect them all. Religion is never bad, only misconceptions crept in, deface the beautiful face of a religion. So Allah himself sends a teacher to purify and further the beautiful teachings revealed by Him. Same is told by Jesus. Its a continuous process dear Mike. Let’s keep pace with the reformers sent by Himself. Our debate should be in line with the arguments provided by the reformer of the time. Its not the question of Islam, Christianity or Judaism nor the question of the sects within. Question is of truth only, which comes from heaven only through his messengers. We believe that messenger of time is Mirza Ghulam Ahmad with clear and pure divine message.

  5. Thanx for all the comments written in reply to my recent comment. It seems we have a lot of feet washing to do. It was an unexpected surprise to have some replies. In fact I never thought I would get past the moderation stage but rather be rejected.
    So thanks for letting me expresses some views. I happen to be just an ordinary Catholic so I am not to hot on getting mixed up with arguing about dogmas. Neither do I find it useful to wade into controversies about the past.
    I have a personal loving God who wants to interact with me NOW through his Word and through prayer and by my care of the people I teach. He is not some distant God living in an ivory tower controlling me with some remote control system.
    I know He wants to forgive me so much, the only trouble is I get tired of asking Him ( a quote from Pope Francis)
    I once thought that the People of the Book were the Islamic, Jewish and the Christian people because they all followed the books of the Koran, Torah and the Bible. The purpose of these Books surely must be to get closer to God to have a close relationship with the Divine dimension. To prompt us to get closer to one another and wash each other’s feet. These books shouldn’t serve the purpose of hitting each other over the head with them or try to show how eloquent and clever we are. That’s not their purpose. I propose that they are a stick on the beach for when we wade into the deep waters and trust more and more in God Our Father.

    Lots of Love from Mike a Traveling Fossil

  6. how come that supposed depiction of jesus washing mens feet but no woman present, while in the popes immulation of that seen there is a woman present but it looks like she’s ready to vomitt will her feet be kissed too. Why then is mary magdalline(woman) depicted in bibles as a sinner kissing man jesus feet and men ready to stone her. This is too confusing, was it man who committed the original sin or was it the woman who did ?

  7. Hi Leila
    Try not to sweat the small stuff. Chances are very rare someone will want to kiss your feet. So you are firmly on safe ground.

    It happened a long time ago so I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. Smile from a Traveling Fossil

  8. Thanks for trying to make clear about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. All I know is that their is one brand of Muslim and two flavors Sunni and Shiite. I never knew about you being persecuted. So I am a little aware. There is very little publicity through the popular press so it would seem about what is happening to you unless you are talking in-house.

    Hang in there you guys and perhaps try reading the Jesus’ Sermon on the mount or the Beatitudes. Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God.

    You are blessed.

    • Ah yes, Mike. Muslims who are teaching peace do not get such a good press as those teaching death. It reminds me for instance at the time of Salman Rushdie’s ‘death fatwa’ by the Iranians. The whole press corps of London descended on the then Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in London, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad. He gave a press conference and explained in detail, quoting the Quran and other legal Islamic sources, that there is no such thing as a death penalty for Salman Rushdie’s ‘crimes’. (In fact it is stated in the Qur’an that if someone talks bad about the Prophet ‘leave his company’. It does not say ‘kill him’). (In Salman Rushdie’s case: ‘do not buy the book’). After explaining to journalists and TV crews for nearly two hours, answering all the questions, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad said: “And now I will tell you one more thing: In tomorrow’s Newspapers and TV News there will be nothing of what I just said.” All journalists said ‘no, we are just going to file the story etc…’. “Hadhoor said: “No, there will be nothing in the paper, because I did not tell you what you want to hear. You wanted me to say ‘death to Salman Rushdie’. If I would say that I would be on the front page of the Newspaper. But because I talked about peace there will be nothing in the News.” And that is how it was …

  9. Sermon on the Mount
    Thank you Mike for drawing our attention to the Sermon of the Mount, which is beautiful. Here I quote the beginning:

    Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20)

    Somehow, the Christians miss the main point here. Jesus did not come to change the Laws of Judaism or of the Prophets. It is amazing to note that in these four verses, he stresses the Law more than four times.

    How could he have been more explicit?

    According to Jesus, salvation is still in fulfilling the Law and not in vicarious atonement.

  10. dear mike.
    my feet are firmly grounded in Islam so I don’t sweat bro. alhamdullillah(thank Allah).
    The point of my questions is that these stories and images have left a permanent, fossil impression on the hearts and minds of so many gullible generations of people who serve only the flesh and blood, rather than serving and obeying the laws of God…I doubt jesus fell for satan and caused him to commit suicide, but the sinners did fall for it for the sake of the flesh and blood of jesus and not for the heart and spirit of the man jesus. peace and smiles back at you bro

  11. Jesus has a big ‘J’ He is the Son of God and always will be. He walked among us and healed the sick and the lame. You don’t get to do that if you are not close with the Father God, Creator of the Universe.

    Perhaps in this age young people get ‘high’ on super heroes like Bat man Spider man and Superman et al. Jesus was the unsuper hero who simply took the everyday things to speak to us.He was down to earth with a large mission of reaching out to people.

    He never needed anything more than to take bread and break it. To take a handful of earth and rub on a blind mans eyes.To have a prostitute wash his hands to talk with sinners and tax collectors the despised of the land. His own birth in a stable at Bethlehem set the tone of who He was to be. Oh Mary asked Him at the wedding feast to help the guests so He changed water into wine. To raise Lazarus from the dead an Epiphany of His own death and resurrection.

    So to believe and to stay focused on Jesus is more than enough.

  12. Zia is asking Mike, how can a son be eternal. The Father has to precede the son. If Father is eternal, the son cannot be eternal. Or, both Father and Son cannot be eternal; cannot exist at the same time.
    This relation of Father and Son in bible is not literal. It could only be a sign of intense love or spiritual relation.

    Whatever Mike has written about the gentleness and loving nature of Jesus is correct and believed by all Ahmadi Muslims. His (Jesus’s) perfect approach in all matters in the face of difficult times is well known to us. The good and pure nature (life) of Jesus mother Mary is also well (beautifully) described in the Quran. There is a full chapter (No. 19) in the Quran, named after Mary i.e. Maryam.

    We Ahmadis respect Jesus and his mother and we know very well what happened to both of them. There is no offence. Mike and his like have to work out all things for themselves rationally. We cannot help much unless it is gently asked for.

  13. Zia is asking Mike, how can a son be eternal. The Father has to precede the son. If Father is eternal, the son cannot be eternal. Or, both Father and Son cannot be eternal; cannot exist at the same time.

    I have 3 sons and we all exist at the same time what’s the problem.

    The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit all exist together they are three persons in the One God. You know the answer to the Christians belief. It is not something new. We are not reinventing the wheel here. It is common knowledge. The dynamic love relationship allows for this to happen.

    It is not about fathering in a sexual way. That doesn’t enter in to it. Muslims are taught to this idea and it is totally shocking to them. Just as egoism is to a Christian.

    To have an egotistical capricious God who brooks no rivals is equally shocking to Christians. But all the more damaging is that Muslims don’t know they are saved and they keep living in something like an existentialist agony because they just don’t know. They are enslaved

    This relation of Father and Son in bible is not literal. It could only be a sign of intense love or spiritual relation.

    It is spiritual thats why. It is a relation ship and a deep bond. If we knew then whats the point it is a mystery we can accept if we have the gift of faith.

    Otherwise muslims live in an existentialist agony.
    The primeval screams that come from the mosques each morning until evening are groans that go up.

    I really feel sorry and I becoming more and more sorry for people caught in deep struggle.

    To know peace you have to know Jesus. He will set you free.

    Jesus is the same today forever and always. That has to be reassuring. Let go let go and feel free.

    Do it NOW I’m praying for you. I will support you to let go.

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