Maundy Thursday

Holy Thursday, better known as Maundy Thursday, is our celebration of Jesus’ great example of service. The name “Maundy Thursday” comes from the Latin Dias Mandatum, which is the “day of the new commandment,” the new commandment being that Christians should love one another, just as Christ loved us. Today, priests do the ceremonial washing of the feet. Twelve men, who represent the twelve apostles, are chosen to be the participants.

In this Thursday’s Gospel reading, Simon Peter asks Jesus the reason for washing his feet. In response, Christ tells the disciples “you can never part with me if I won’t wash you.” Christ came to the world to clean us and prepare us to be stewards of his love. He challenged the disciples to wash one another’s feet as an act of love.

Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord – and you are right for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example that you also should do as I have done to you,” he said. (Jn 13: 13-15) We, too, are challenged to do the same, to wash other’s faults and mishaps by becoming a friend and a companion for others.

The first reading reveals God’s call to be available for one another in desperate times. He told Moses and Aaron, “If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it.” (Exodus 12: 4). Our country has faced calamities and trials, but in these times we see ourselves helping and sharing and answering to one another’s needs.

As we near the end of the season of Lent, we remember Christ’s selfless love for us. He endured all sufferings to renew our lives and fulfill His promise of salvation. We faced many crises in our own lives but looking into other people’s crisis is God yearning for us. Once again, we are reminded to follow His example of serving one another just as He has served us.

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