From the Venerable Master & From the Wise Master (April, 2011)

posted May 21, 2015, 2:31 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 21, 2015, 3:46 PM ]

Hal Leister
Brethren,

Maundy Thursday - also called Holy Thursday is the feast or holy day on the
Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. On this day, Christians remember the Last Supper. During the meal Jesus took bread and wine and shared them with his disciples. Christians continue to share bread and wine as part of their worship in church.
The Last Supper was probably a Passover meal - the meal which Jewish people share to celebrate the time when God delivered Moses and the people from slavery in Egypt. The night of Maundy Thursday is the night on which Judas betrayed Jesus.
The name 'Maundy' is derived from the command or mandatum by Christ at the Last Supper, to love one another:
" And now I give you a new commandment: love
one another. As I have loved you, so you must 
love one another."  John 15: 12 (it is also in John 13:34)
John Unger
During the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples' feet. This act has been sometimes followed literally in history as a good way of reminding rulers that they are here to serve their people. In England, the custom of washing feet by the Monarch was carried out until 1689. Up until then, the King or Queen would wash the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday in Westminster Abbey. (You should, however, note that the feet were first washed by Yeoman of the Laundry before the monarch had to wash them and kiss them!). Food and clothing were also handed out to the poor.
Learning to love unselfishly is not an easy task. It runs counter to our self-centered nature. When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. Often we act as if relationships are something to be squeezed into our schedule, but relationships are what life is all about! We will gather on Maundy Thursday to reaffirm our faith in the universal fraternity of mankind. Fraternally, we love one another, and we extend that New Commandment the Great Master gave to all mankind — TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. This is the meaning of Maundy Thursday and the message of Masonry.
Maundy Thursday is a celebration of the Passover – Jesus’ last meal before he died. He created two miracles that night making bread and wine representing his blood and body.
On Good Friday he was crucified for claiming to be God. Easter: Three days later he was rescued from the dead which signified that there is hope for the dead. If there is hope for the dead there is also hope for the living. If we are to obtain that hope, we must have our freedom!

Hal Leister—Venerable Master 
John Unger  -  Wise Master