As we approach Easter, I always become a bit more contemplative on Thursday before Easter. Most of the Christian world refers to this day as “Maundy Thursday“. We don’t in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But the term has deep meaning, all the same. Maundy comes from the Latin word “mandatum” which means “to command”. On this night of the Holy Week, the Savior and his disciples met for one last time, to share the Passover meal and for one last lesson from the Master.
That lesson is the most significant and meaningful lesson, of all of Jesus’ lessons — that is, the sacrament, and the new covenant. “A new commandment I give you, that ye love one another; as I loved you, that ye love one another.” (John 13:34). Christ loves us with “an everlasting love, and with lovingkindness he hath drawn us to him.” (see Jeremiah 31: 3). When we love one another it needs to be with that same love, which is charity, the pure love of Christ. Moroni teaches us what charity is:
45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. (Moroni 7: 45-48)
This week in our family we’ve been watching some of the Bible Videos the Church has produced. There are several that portray the events of the Holy Week, and of Maundy Thursday. I hope you have some time to watch them with your family in the next few days as we all prepare to celebrate Easter.
In Bulgaria, where I served my mission, on Easter Morning you greet each other by saying, “Christ is Risen!” and answering back, “Indeed, Christ is truly risen!”