With nightfall our Lenten observance comes to an end, and we gather with Christians around the world to celebrate the Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection. At the heart of the Maundy Thursday liturgy is Jesus’ commandment to love one another. As Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, we are called to follow his example as we humbly care for one another, especially the poor and the unloved. At the Lord’s table we remember Jesus’ sacrifice of his life, even as we are called to offer ourselves in love for the life of the world.
Readings and Psalm
First Reading: Exodus 12:1-4 [5-10] 11-14
14This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.
Psalm: Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
and listened to my | supplication,
2for the Lord has given | ear to me
whenev- | er I called.
12How shall I re- | pay the Lord
for all the good things God has | done for me?
13I will lift the cup | of salvation
and call on the name | of the Lord.
14I will fulfill my vows | to the Lord
in the presence of | all God’s people.
15Precious in your | sight, O Lord,
is the death | of your servants.
16O Lord, truly I | am your servant;
I am your servant, the child of your handmaid; you have freed me | from my bonds.
17I will offer you the sacrifice | of thanksgiving
and call upon the name | of the Lord.
18I will fulfill my vows | to the Lord
in the presence of | all God’s people,
19in the courts of | the Lord‘s house,
in the midst of you, | O Jerusalem.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel: John 13:1-17, 31b-35
12After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
31b“Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”