Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is the immediate Thursday that precedes Good Friday (that commemorates Jesus’ crucifixion) and Easter (that commemorates Jesus’ victory over sin and death by his resurrection from the dead).
As I researched the origin of the word, “Maundy”, I was surprised to learn that it is a derivative from the word mandé that was used in the medieval times of England and archaic France, with roots to the Latin word mandatum. Mandatum is the first word in the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” which is recorded in John 13:34 that states “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you“. This was said by Jesus as he washed his disciples feet, demonstrating that just as He, the God of the universe came to serve, we must also do so, with compassion/love (the new commandment) and humility.
This Maundy Thursday, let us realize that we are given
- a new commandment (mandatum) to LOVE (God first, and all others as ourselves next) as God loves us (which is unconditional, sacrificial and sanctifying)
- a commission to SERVE – for just as God (Jesus) washed the feet of his disciples, we must also humble ourselves to serve one another. A leader for God is a Servant unto him and men/women first.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.