Christians are told that taking a moral stand, especially on questions so culturally controversial, is to distract from the Gospel. Instead, the Church must become more welcoming and avoid anything that makes people feel excluded from the Church. After all, we are told, isn’t the Gospel really about inclusivity?
Today, of all the days of Holy Week, directly confronts this mentality. Maundy Thursday is set aside on the Church calendar to remember the Last Supper. The word maundy comes from the Latin word for “mandate” or “command.” At this first celebration of Communion, Jesus gave His disciples “a new command,” that they should love and serve each other. To demonstrate what He meant, He picked up a basin of water and a towel and washed their feet.