What is Mandatum? You might guess it has something to do with male demographics. It’s not. It’s Latin for commandment/law/bro code. It’s a rule, an order for living life together in relationship and community. It’s also where we get the English word mandate.
It’s also where we get the name for Maundy Thursday. When Jesus washes the disciples feet at the last supper, he explains that his servant actions come from a loving Spirit, and this loving way is to be a defining characteristic of their life together and in the world. He emphasizes it by giving them a “Mandatum Novus”, a new commandment. What is this new commandment? Love. Each. Other.
“I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. (John 13:34 CEB)
If only loving was easy. Loving each other is another one of those simple but difficult truths. It’s the way of life God calls us to live. If we are honest, it’s easier said than done. Simply think back to yesterday. Were all your actions loving? Probably not. Will all of your actions today be loving? Probably not. While there’s plenty of grace and forgiveness when we do not act, think, and live love, the call and the commandment, the Mandatum is still there.
How can you live more love?
Prayer: Lord, you have shown us the way -the way of love that washes feet of those who don’t deserve it, the way of love that goes to cross, the way of love that gives your life for the life of another. Inspire us with this love. Help us to love like that. Amen.