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Maundy Thursday

The Mass of the Lord’s supper which marks the beginning of the Paschal Triduum and draws us to the most sacred mysteries of the Christian Faith, commemorates the Institution of the Holy Eucharist and Priesthood. The Solemn Liturgy also highlights the ritual of foot- washing, primarily to exemplify the new commandment, “to love one another” inspite of their differences and disagreements. The washing of the feet is an ancient practice performed only by a slave to a Master (1 Sam 25:41). Jesus, in demonstrating such a humbling act to his Disciples, made an outlandish display of love in its ultimate degree and a profound model of service contrary to social expectation. He gave such a humiliating gesture a totally different meaning. That’s why Peter protested. Master, are you going to wash my feet? You will never wash my feet (Jn 13:6, 8). In their discourse, he showed that it was an act of humble service, a classic example, a true mark, a deepest expression of love, not merely a suggestion but a mandate. It is this for this reason that it came to be called Maundy Thursday, from the latin, Mandatum, that loving one another should be the top priority of every Christian community. In a world, where people who constantly profess faith in Christ Jesus are divided over doctrinal, political and social issues, who couldn’t even gather at the same table to worship God, Mandatum Novum will help clearly see ministry from an entirely different standpoint. And yet, it’s not necessarily the actual foot washing that we are called to do but those selfless small acts of humble service we can possibly offer to one another on a regular basis. Amen.

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A Filipino Catholic Priest, born and raised in Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines, ordained for the Diocese of Tucson, AZ, eleven years in ministry and counting, currently assigned as Pastor of St. Christopher Catholic Parish, Marana, AZ.

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