Mandatum novum do vobis: Maundy Thursday
Today we celebrate and remember the night Jesus institued the Lord's Supper, washed his disciples' feet, gave them a New Commandment, and was betrayed by one of his inner circle.
Maundy Thursday, as it is called in English, developed its name from the Old French word mandé, which in turn came from the Latin mandatum. The Latin comes from John 13:34:
Mandatum novum do vobis: ut diligatis invicem: sicut dilexi vos, ut et vos diligatis invicem.Which, of course, is translated, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another."
We are invited to gather this night to celebrate the Lord's Supper, recalling the "New Covenant, in my blood, which is shed for you and for many." We relive the anxiety and courage that Jesus underwent as he prayed that "this cup may pass," but "not my will, but yours be done." We watch Judas' betrayal of Christ in the garden, and we confess the part our sin plays in the ultimate treason of creature against Creator.
We look to the paradoxically-named morrow: Good Friday, with its torture, abuse, and murder. And we mourn the death of God's only Son, the sinless, perfect sacrifice.
But we do not mourn without hope. Because we know that Easter, with its Resurrection light and joy, is just beyond the horizon.
LISTENING TO: Sounds of breaking bread and wine outpoured