Listening for the message of Maundy Thursday in a different culture is not hard when everything around you is shouting in images and colors and fabric and incense. Who knew the world was so interested in Jesus Christ? In spite of a host of holiday distractions to entice, what they have come to see is this story of the Christ. It is a tradition of the 16th century (Spain) that has remained. No bunnies, no eggs, no chicks to buy. Plenty of food and fanfare, for sure, but total silence when the procession begins and the story passes by the crowd.
The only connection I can think of immediately is the Israelites when the Ark of the Covenant was going before them or passing by them. I did not come to see so much as I came to be with these people as they express their greatest tradition and greatest love.
The message I hear on Maundy Thursday is not surprising….”love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)