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Significance of Maundy Thursday



MAUNDY Thursday or Holy Thursdayis being marked today, the fifth day of the Holy Week which starts on Palm Sunday.

  The word “Maundy” is drawn from a Latin word, maundatum.

  Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev Callistus Onaga said maundatum  comes from the Latin translation of the Bible verse, “I give you a new commandment,” or maundatumnovum da vobis. This was among Jesus’ last words to His followers in the Gospel of St John.

  The cleric explained that Maundy Thursday is part of Holy week, also known as Passion Week, the concluding period of Lent, a time of fasting and abstinence in preparation for Easter.

  “Holy Thursday was the day Jesus celebrated the Jewish feast of Passover, when God delivered the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, thousands of years ago. It marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum, three days of solemn worship in preparation for Christ’s Resurrection from the dead,” he said.

  Maundy Thursday was filled with significant events. Not only did Jesus share the passover meal and communion, but itwas  also the day he retreated to the Garden of Gethsemane.

  While Judas left to go to the Jewish leaders to betray Him, Jesus knelt in agony, prayer and surrender.

  David Mathis observed that Maundy Thursday marks the time when “the hour had come.” 

  “The Bible often records Jesus saying His hour had not yet come (John 2:4), but on Maundy Thursday, he knew that the beginning of the fulfillment of His greatest mission on earth had come.

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  “All Jesus’s human life had anticipated this hour. Every careful attempt at keeping the messianic secret. Every emotional investment poured gladly into his disciples. Every glimpse of the ocean of his kindness as he healed the blind, the mute, the lame, the demonised, and even raised the dead.

  “Now the hour has come. All history hinges on this hour. And it is utterly terrifying. Jesus must decide: Will he protect his own skin, and soul, or will he embrace his Father’s perfect and painful will?,” he said.

  On Maundy Thursday, Jesus agonises over what He is about to face on the cross and he prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood” (Luke 22:44)

  Maundy Thursday also celebrates Jesus’ Last Supper, in which He established the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of Holy Order (priesthood).

  It is the second most sacred Mass celebration of the year after Easter.”

  According to Bishop Onaga, Maundy Thursday’s origins and celebrations dated back to the early Christian church. Converts to Christianity in the ancient Roman world recognised the significance of the Last Supper of Christ through the apostles’ teaching.They celebrated the day with prayer, reception of Holy Communion at Mass, and blessing of holy oils or chrism that would be used to baptize and confirm new church members at the Easter celebration and throughout the year. Bishops perform the same blessing of the oils on Holy Thursday morning, with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper taking place after l.

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  On Holy Thursday, the priest ceremonially wash the feet of 12 men to remember Christ’s washing of his apostles’ feet at the Last Supper.

  He said that there is the ceremony of washing the feet of the poor, commemorating Jesus’ washing of His disciples’ feet, as a show of service to the man, it shows humility. On Maundy Thursday. also called: Maundy money, money was distributed as alms to the poor.This signifies show of love. Jesus through His last supper taught us to care for one another, live a communal life.

  An analyst, Felicity Moran , noted that Maundy Thursday, which celebrates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ the day.

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