|A remembrance of our Baptism
I’ve been thinking, lately, of why Lutherans and other Christians refer to this thursday as “Maundy Thursday.” We Catholics are focused on the holiness of thursday of this week. They are thinking of another aspect of that night.
“Maundy” refers to the commandments of the Lord which he gave that night: to do the new passover meal in his memory and to wash the feet of one another. The word comes from the latin “mandatum,” a command. I like this focus on what makes thursday holy.
Our Lord not only invites us, but gives us an order: “Do this in memory of me.” Every time we Christians pray the Eucharist we join Him in the saving act of His death and Resurrection. We believe that we are there with Him on Calvary at His crucifiction.
We are at the empty tomb with the women and apostles, marveling at His Resurrection. We are commanded by Our Lord not to forget Him but to celebrate His living presence at every Eucharist..
Being servants of one aonther is about as counter-cultural as you can get in our society. None of the self-help books or the audio presentations on the core values of success speak of washing anyone’s feet.
We are commanded to be great by serving each other. We can and should dry the tears of someone who is mourning a loss and not whine about our own hurts. We can feed the deepest hunger of our neighbors for warmth when our hearts are not filled with our own selves.
Holy Thursday is holy because of the example Christ gives us. That example is holy and is a gentle reminder to follow Him, if we want to be His disciples.
The holy water fonts will be dry during the triduum. On Holy Saturday evening, they will again be filled with the new water that recalls our baptism into the life of Eucharist and service.