Maundy Thursday is the first day of the liturgical event known as the Triduum, the “three days” that lead up to Easter. The name “Maundy” Thursday comes from the Latin mandatum, mandate or commandment, a reference to Jesus’ words in John 13:34,

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.

This is not quite the climax of the liturgical year – that has to be Easter – but it is the beginning of the end.

Jesus washes Peter's feet
One of the things Jesus seems to have meant by the instruction to “love one another as I have loved you”.

I don’t always do a good job of living out that commandment. It’s a good thing I have this annual reminder.