I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35)A lot happens on Holy Thursday. Jesus celebrates the beginning of Passover with his friends. He washes their feet and reminds them that it is noble to serve others. During the Passover meal he tells his friends that he will not be with them much longer, and institutes the Eucharist by proclaiming that the bread is His body and the wine His blood. He declares that Peter will deny him, and that one of his followers will betray him.
After the dinner he prays, in agony, in the garden, because he knows what is to come.
He is betrayed, arrested and put on trial.
A lot happens that day. And of course instituting the Eucharist is the most significant. We remember that every time we go to Mass.
But, the words above. Ones, quoted in John as having been said during that meal are also of very great significance.
Observant Jews lived by many laws. Laws handed down from God to Moses. Jesus gave them a new one. One, that seems simple, but maybe is harder than all the rest. "Love one another."
It sounds so easy. Much easier than making sure that the food is kosher and that nothing unclean has defiled us before the Sabbath. But is it easier?
Love one another.
Not just those who loved you. That was something Jesus made plain at another time. Anyone can love someone who loves them back. But love everyone. Everyone. All the time.
So, as I go about my day - will people know I am a disciple of Jesus? Some days the answer is yes. Some days, not so much.
On this Holy Thursday, besides remembering all the other significant things that happened on that day, I'll try to remember to obey the rule that Jesus gave us.
How hard can it be?