Today Christians throughout the world celebrate Holy Thursday. Also known as Maundy Thursday, the day commemorates the institution of the Sacrament of the Eucharist (Holy Communion) at the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his apostles the evening before he died. Christians also believe that Jesus instituted the priesthood at that same meal. Because Jesus was Jewish, the Last Supper was actually a Jewish Passover Seder meal.
“Maundy” comes from the Latin word “mandatum” which means “commandment” which is the first word that Jesus spoke to His apostles after He washed their feet (although Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Latin).
“I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.” ~ New Testament Gospel of John 13:34
Christians believe today commemorates:
The sharing of the Jewish Passover Seder meal that would come to be called “The Last Supper”
Jesus is said to have washed the feet of his 12 apostles during that meal
Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
Jesus instituted the Priesthood (Sacrament of Holy Orders)
Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment to replace Jewish laws
Jesus shared a final farewell and special prayers with his closest friends
“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~John 13:34-35
For me, this day commemorates the very essence of Jesus’ message.
Sadly, 2000 years later, Christians still struggle to accept and practice its meaning.
This is the tragedy of Christianity today.