A Memorable Meal

What makes a memorable meal? I mean one that you know you will reflect back upon years later? Is it the people, the food, the conversation, the occasion or perhaps all of these?

This evening we celebrate a meal that has become memorable for all Christianity. But, unlike other meals, its importance was not in the invitees (Apostles, Jesus and perhaps others [certainly some of whom were women]), nor the food (typical Passover ritual food) nor even the table talk (we only have a record of what Jesus said!). What makes the Holy Thursday meal memorable is that Jesus was speaking the night before his Passion and death on a Cross.

Even in this situation His words were not filled with warning or apocalyptic predictions but hope; He called to mind the Passover liberation event when Yahweh brought the Jewish people out of Egypt.

More importantly his action- only found in the Gospel of John- was to accentuate one of the many reversals which the Christian story reveals. Here is Jesus- who by now is seen by his Apostles as at least the chosen one of God and possibly the one who would restore the House of David to free the land from the pagan Roman occupation- taking a towel and cleaning the feet of his followers. The Son of God acting as a slave! The One who everyone would expect to be served – the Master and Teacher Jesus- is now serving his followers. What kind of God is this? To make the meal even more memorable we have the gift of the Eucharist which calls to mind the Last Supper and reveals to us Christ whose love not only allows for reversing roles with His earliest followers but desires to be with us today in the bread and wine.

Talk about a memorable meal: a God who is humble and loving as well as one who wishes to be close to us always. Material for reflection and gratitude today!

Mission Doctors serve the poorest please remember them in prayer and financially. Happy Holy Thursday!

Brother John Kiesler, OFM

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