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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
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On Holy Thursday, we celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper, during which we mark the institution of the Eucharist and the washing of feet. Both were commands of Jesus. "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you." (John 6:53)
And "If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." (John 13:14-15)
Maundy Thursday, the traditional title, reflects this need to serve. It comes from the Latin, "mandatum novum" ("a new command"), which is based on John 13:34: "I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another."