Today is Maundy Thursday. The name “Maundy” comes from the Latin “mandatum,” or “command,” and is the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos”, in English, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another.” Jesus, speaking to his disciples, continues, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34).
Jesus speaks this "new command" to His Disciples at the Last Supper.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples in a display of humble service, and perhaps even servitude (which is why Peter objects) and then commands them to do the same. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, in other words, is about service, about caring and loving others well!
Jesus commanded His disciples – then and now – to act in loving ways towards each other. To care for and serve each other as He has cared for and served them. This kind of love – because it is more about behavior than "feelings" – it's about doing and serving others, in their best interests.
I too must confess, that I do not always love my brother or my sister, neither my neighbor and certainly my enemy well. Yet this too is what Jesus desires of those who call themselves Christian. He said elsewhere: "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:43-48). This may prove costly! It may require great sacrifice! Perhaps no one said it better (and lived it) in the last Century, than Pastor, Martyr, Prophet and Spy Deitrich Bonhoeffer, who loved and served and was executed for his service to others, when he said: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
Wherever you are this day, and however you may spend it, know this: God continues to love and bless us that we may in turn love and bless each other and, indeed, the whole world in which God loved so much, "...that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). I pray you have a blessed Maundy Thursday.