The word maundy is from the Latin meaning “mandate” or “commandment.”
The name ‘Maundy Thursday’ is based on John’s account of Jesus’ commandment to his disciples at the Last Supper to love one another. Then putting love into action, Jesus humbly washed His disciples’ feet and later died by crucifixion to redeem humanity.
Leadership, love and service.
These are the marks of Jesus’ ministry. He set the example for us to follow.
This unnamed painting was done in an art class many years ago. It is rich in symbolism.
In Christian art, grapes represent abundance, pomegranates are symbols of resurrection and life everlasting and pears epitomize the promise of salvation and eternal life.
More importantly, the striking contrast of light and shadow in the painting is a reminder of the dangerously precarious limits that exist between good and evil.
Good – being love in its purest and highest form expressed through service, even to the point of death.
Evil – expressed through betrayal and cowardice that is based on fear.
We can follow Jesus’ example of love, but like the betrayal of Judas and the denial by Peter, we can be consumed by fear and act in ways that are hurtful to others. Jesus felt fear, but he chose to follow the way of love to redeem humanity through his death.
Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem started with the adoring, cheering crowds on Palm Sunday, who then decried him on Holy Thursday, witnessed His cruel death on the cross. But Holy Week ends with Jesus’ glorious resurrection on Easter Day, which is our hope that the will to love, when empowered by the grace and mercy of God, will always, always, always triumph over fear.
Christ in you, the hope of glory. That’s why glory matters.