Maundy Thursday Thoughts


On Maundy Thursday, we think of Jesus’ instituting the Lord’s Supper during the Passover meal in the upper room.

But the Gospel of John records some other events during the meal.

Jesus washed the disciples’ feet.  Ambrose, the fourth century bishop of Milan wrote,

“Jesus, I wish you would let me wash your feet, since it was through walking about in me that you soiled them.  I wish you would give me the task of wiping the stains from your feet, because it was my behavior that put them there.  But where can I get the running water I need to wash your feet?  If I have no water, at least I have tears.”


Jesus said: “You are my friends, if you do what I command you.  No longer do I call you servants.”  “This is my commandment, that you love one another.”

An African-American spiritual responds:

I tol’ Jesus it would be all right,

if he changed my name.

Jesus tol’ me I would have to live humble,

if he changed my name.

Jesus tol’ me that the world would be ‘gainst me,

If he changed my name.

But I tol’ Jesus it would be all right-

If he changed my name.


This year the Passover falls during the same week as Holy Week.

Philo, the first century Jewish writer from Alexandria, Egypt wrote: The beginning of the Passover is half-way through the month, the fourteenth day, when the moon is at its full, to show that there is no darkness on this day, but that it is full of light, the sun shining from the dawn to the evening, and the moon from the evening to the dawn.


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