Let’s be honest here, Maundy Thursday is not The Pink Flamingo’s favorite holy day. I’m not all that into humility. It also celebrates the origin of the Eucharist.
“…Most scholars agree that the English word Maundy in that name for the day is derived through Middle English and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John 13:34 by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet.
The phrase is used as the antiphon sung during the “Mandatum” ceremony of the washing of the feet, which may be held during Mass or at another time as a separate event, during which a priest or bishop (representing Christ) ceremonially washes the feet of others, typically 12 persons chosen as a cross-section of the community.
Others theorize that the English name “Maundy Thursday” arose from “maundsor baskets” or “maundy purses” of alms which the king of England distributed to certain poor at Whitehall before attending Mass on that day. Thus, “maund” is connected to the Latin mendicare, and French mendier, to beg.
A source from the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod likewise states that, if the name was derived from the Latin mandatum, we would call the day Mandy Thursday, or Mandate Thursday, or even Mandatum Thursday; and that the term “Maundy” comes in fact from the Latin mendicare, Old French mendier, and English maund, which as a verb means to beg and as a noun refers to a small basket held out by maunders as they maunded….”
John 13: 13-20
1Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper
3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,
4got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.
5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.
6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’
7Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’
8Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’
9Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’
10Jesus said to him, ‘One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.’
11For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’
12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?
13You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am.
14So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
15For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.
16Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.
17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
18I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But it is to fulfil the scripture, “The one who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.”
19I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am he.
20Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.’
I know I should not be that tacky, but all that humility bothers me. It shouldn’t, but there is something disturbing about it. I don’t like being “served” in that manner. I know that part of the service is about letting go.
From God Calling, March 4.
“…My children, I am here, your waiting Lord, ready at your call. I am among you as one that serveth, Meek and Holy, ready to be used and commanded. Remember that is the finest quality of greatness — service. I, who could command a universe — I await the commands of My children. Bring Me into everything. You will find such Joy as the time goes on in speaking to each other of Me, and together climbing higher. Always humble, meek, and lowly in heart….”