Yesterday was Maundy Thursday.
What does "Maundy Thursday" mean? For most of us, if we hear the phrase "Maundy Thursday" at all, think of it as "the day before Good Friday" or "the Thursday before Easter" or "the weirdest named day in the Christian church calendar."
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a friend who mentioned the background for the phrase. "Maundy" has Latin roots, from "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" or "A new command I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you."
This "mandatum novum" is surprising. I mean, how can "love one another" be a "new command"? Jesus has already talked about the Greatest Commandment ("Love God") and the second ("Love you neighbor"). What makes this a new command?
Jesus issues this command after washing his disciples feet and before heading to the cross.
And guess which day that was?