MANILA, Philippines -- Holy Thursday, better known as Maundy Thursday, is our celebration of Jesus' great example of service. The name "Maundy Thursday" comes from the Latin Dias Mandatum, which is the "day of the new commandment," the new commandment being that Christians should love one another, just as Christ loved us. Today, priests do the ceremonial washing of the feet. Twelve men, who represent the twelve apostles, are chosen to be the participants.
In this Thursday's Gospel reading, Simon Peter asks Jesus the reason for washing his feet. In response, Christ tells the disciples "you can never part with me if I won't wash you." Christ came to the world to clean us and prepare us to be stewards of his love. He challenged the disciples to wash one another's feet as an act of love.