Thursday, April 9, 2009

FATHERS: Maundy Thursday

"Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos." (The Latin Vualgate translation of the Bible, by Jerome (Eusebius Hieronymus), c.347-420)

Jerome was a Father of the Church and Doctor of the Church, whose great work was the translation of the Bible into Latin, the edition known as the Vulgate. In this translation of John 13: 34, Jerome uses the phrase, " mandatum novum," for "'a new commandment' I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you." The word "maundy" is a form of the Latin word "mandatum," or commandment. Therefore, Maundy Thursday is literally, "Commandment Thursday," and the command given on this day is "love as Jesus has loved us." It is not surprising then that since Jesus knows that this command cannot be kept of our own strength, on the very same day he chose to give a means to strengthen his people for his assingned mission of love. That means: his own body and blood in the forms of bread and wine as our spiritual food.

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