Wow, with less than 12 hours left of Lent…

“Jared, what the hell are you talking about? Lent is not over today?”

Well, yes it is. This evening marks Maundy Thursday. No, it is not meant to confuse. I said, “Maundy” not “Monday.” “Maundy” comes from the Latin, “mandatum.” Wow, I haven’t seen that word in a while. In Catholic college circles, the mandatum is a document meant to mandate Catholic colleges teach, well, Catholicism rather than the less than doctrinally accurate Catholic-Lite, or the ever so unfulfilling contemporary Gnosticism known as New Age, or the Christless social justice that typically is not social nor just. The mandatum, something my alma mater in Steubenville required of professors, is a little reminder from the mothership in Rome to K.I.C.S., “Keep it Catholic Stupid.”

So it is from that Latin word that “Maundy” comes from and means “mandate.” This evening is the beginning of Passover. Tonight, Jesus makes a mandate that we must serve to be great and another command to repeat what He has done with the Passover meal by transforming bread into His Body and wine into His Blood. Perhaps novel to the minds of the Apostles in that room, today there is an entire leadership theory based solely on this one historical event, Servant Leadership.

So Lent ends, and the Easter Triduum begins. Tonight Jesus institutes the Eucharist at Passover and the meal continues until the priest sacrifices the Lamb on the Cross. Like the first Passover, this one has a Lamb, it is sacrificed, eaten, and the blood is spilt. Jesus leaves and to show the separation of the Old Covenant and entrance into the New, the temple veil is rent. With creation waiting, He makes all things new. Like Aslan’s sacrifice for Narnia and Gandalf’s sacrifice for the Fellowship and Middle Earth when he fought the cruel demon, the balrog, Christ gives His life.

Like Aslan and Gandalf, Christ takes away the most feared human threat, death. He returns and His return changed everything.

Don’t get too excited about Lent’s closing. Still practiced until Easter morn our penances must be. It is the last few days and tonight we take a big gulp of air and continue to plow through until everything changes on Sonday; I can’t wait!