Growing up, the Thursday of Holy Week confused me. What confused me was not the liturgy. It made sense to me. The last supper, the washing of the feet, the stripping of the altar… all of this needed to be done in order to do observe Good Friday.
What confused me was the name. I never understood why one Thursday a year we added Monday. Of course, that’s not the name, and as I grew older, I started to pronounce it correctly… Maundy Thursday.
Most understand the word Maundy to come from a Latin word that means commandment. In the upper room, Jesus commanded his disciples to love one another.
Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This is the purpose of Maundy Thursday. We receive this reminder that the ultimate proclamation of God’s love for His creation is His Son Jesus Christ… and the ultimate expression of that love is the love we have for each other, because love comes only from God. As we prepare for the way of the cross tomorrow, let us cling to God’s love for us by loving one another.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. May the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, keep you safe and make you strong, this night and always. Amen.