“Holy” was the answer, and that was as far as I had ever investigated until recently. I don’t know why I had never looked it up for myself. Shame on me!
A simple trip to the dictionary informed me that “maundy” is from the Latin and means “mandate” or “command.” In connection with Jesus’ sharing the Passover meal with his disciples, it refers to what he said to them after he had washed their feet. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
John reports that Jesus went on to say, “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you . . . This is my command: Love each other” (John 15:14-15 & 17).
Friends! Friends of Jesus! What greater honor than to be called his friend?
And then, John goes on to pass along words from Jesus’ lips that should be dear to every Christian’s heart, as he prays for all believers. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me . . . May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:20-23). My trusty NIV note tells me an awesome thing: “All future believers are included in this prayer.”
Wow! That blows me away! Jesus was praying for us that night. The night he wants us to always remember. Maundy Thursday. The night he commanded us to love one another. How could we ever forget?
And yet, sometimes we do.
“This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).