Meditations and Prayers for Lent and Easter

The Last Supper

a meditation by Victor Hoagland, C.P.

When Jesus Christ entered the supper room to eat the Passover meal that last Thursday night, he was aware a dark fate awaited him. Powerful forces were drawn up against him ready to take his life. His enemies were moving to stop him.

Last SupperBeside him were his disciples, “his own who were in the world.” Arguing among themselves as they took their place at table, they gave him little support. Not only did Jesus face their pettiness, he also sensed their impending betrayal of him.

What would he do? Understandably he might respond with caution and draw back. Like the servant, whom Isaiah described, he might well say, “I toiled in vain; and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength...” (Is. 49).

Jesus, however, took bread and gave it to his disciples. “Take this," he said, “this is my body.” He took the cup and gave it to them. “This is my blood, the blood of the new covenant, to be poured out in behalf of many.”

That night, without wariness or regret, he gave himself in love to his Father and his disciples. As Savior and Redeemer he gave himself unhesitatingly for the life of the world.

We remember that love each time we celebrate the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the sacrament which makes a supper room of every time and place. Until the end of time, the sacrament says, Jesus Christ will offer his body and blood for all.

Lord Jesus,
once in the wilderness
your people ate heavenly manna
and they were filled.
And once in a desert place
you fed the hungry
with blessed bread.

A simple thing, we say,
costing our mighty God
litte effort.

EucharistBut what if bread is
a body offered for all,
and a cup of wine
your own life-blood
given to those who hardly care?

A costly thing, we say,
Is there anything more
God could have done?
Anything more
Love could do
than lay down his life
for his friends?

Icon: The Last Supper by Theophanes the Cretan; Holy Monastery of Stavronikita, Mount Athos
May the Passion of Jesus Christ Be Always in Our Hearts

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