Word count: 365
This is a short meditation, in the voice of a contemporary disciple, on the significance of the Last Supper within the framework of Holy Week. It is suitable reading for any believer reflecting on the events and meaning of Holy Thursday
My living Lord, with what intensity the hour had come, as at last you gathered your closest friends for that supper. Had you, for over a year, been pondering what had been said to you after feeding all those crowds by the lake: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat, his blood to drink?’ When many had walked with you no more, except this little gathering who, though bewildered, said: ‘To whom else can we go?’
And had you now, knowing how your final hour had come, secretly moved the day and chosen the place for this supper? No wonder you sighed: ‘How I have longed to share this meal with you, with you who have stood by me.’
Outside the Powers were mustering, threatened by all that you had lived for. And if we are honest most of us wanted you to be, as did your cousin John, a divine saviour who would destroy the powers and bring in justice and truth on behalf of the dispossessed of our world. But you have chosen, are choosing, another way. The mysterious way of God’s unilateral disarmament. At three o’clock tomorrow all would be fulfilled. But now, at this ominous hour, you go down on your knees, abasing yourself in washing our feet. And you disappear into bread and wine.
Living One, Risen Victim, it was only later, as the light of your risen presence filtered through into the hearts and minds of your friends, that they came to know what you had left them, and us, at your supper. It was only in resurrection faith, shining back on your final ‘hour’ that we could know your time of degradation as the hour of glory and new creation. Oh, you are a hidden God!
As now we celebrate your presence in our eucharists, may we know that it is you who believe in us more than we who believe in you. May we give our Amen to your presence which always ‘goes before us’. And may we truly become you whom we receive, God’s embodiment in our world.