“I understand three kinds of expression in our Lord. The first is that of his Passion which he showed while he was here in this life, dying. Although to contemplate this is mournful and sorrowful, it is still glad and joyful, for he is God. The second kind of expression is mercy and pity and compassion; and this he reveals to all who love him, with assurance of safekeeping for those that need his mercy. The third is his blessed countenance, as it shall be without end, and this was oftenest revealed and longest continued.Julian of Norwich. Revelations of Divine Joy; Long Text, Chapter 71.
The word ‘Maundy’ comes from the latin mandatum, which means ‘commandment’. Immediately after Jesus washed the disciples feet, he gave them the commandment of the New Covenant: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35.
The Last Supper was where Jesus declared himself to be the paschal lamb, him becoming the body and blood of the eternal sacrifice. As we continue to consume him, so he continues to consume us; sanctification through faith, the word and the sacramental nature of the divine presence.
Peter’s declaration to Jesus that ‘you must wash my whole body’ is indicative of the full commitment that is available to us in allowing God to change our lives. It is done, finished; and yet it is still to be done, completed in our lives.
I love the destination of his Passion, of what he showed us here on earth. For all that he did and all that we therefore must allow him to do, leads simply to one place. Love each other.