“I have eagerly desired to share this Passover with you”
That was what he said, and he meant it –
round the table, there was peace, contentment,
so many friends gathered together – and once again their host was a stranger-
-delighted to be asked, eager to please
and blessed, by being able to give something to Jesus
…Of course, there were really NO strangers at this meal –
– that was His way. Something about his presence made everyone friends, family, equal. In the same way that something about His presence made everyone aware that they did not quite understand Him.
He was one of the Twelve. Specially chosen.
When Jesus had begun to choose, he had been desperate to have his name called – who wouldn’t?
This charismatic teacher and healer, He could change the world –
– and yet, when his own name had been called, he had found himself among tax collectors and fishermen –
a motley crew with nothing obvious in common…
…he had spent many hours and days since, wondering why he had been chosen over others.
And they had basked in the warmth of His presence – and watched amazed, as the Lame stood up to walk and the Blind saw, and wept with delight.
There had been stranger lessons too –
the teacher’s lack of deference to some respected leaders, and his concern for the poor old women, lepers, and street urchins. It seemed to make no sense.
Outside one town He fed a multitude and they were ready to crown him King,- but then he hid himself away.
Covert encounters with people like Nicodemus, and with Jairus’ family, raised questions.
-What happened in that room with the little girl? First there were mourners wailing and then they began to cook, as for a feast…
It wasn’t what he’s expected when he became a follower. Or when Jesus called him out as one of the twelve.
They could have changed the world,
they could have raised an army and taken the city –
heck, they could have taken over the whole Roman Empire!
But now here they were again,
just another meal, bread blessed and broken, and random strangers laughing and smiling like friends, and everyone resting,
just resting in the light of His presence –
as though nothing else in the world mattered…
He had thought this man would change the world, and had relished the thought of serving at his side –
MY GOD, he makes no earthly sense…
Beaming with delight, even at the simple servants.
Gulping down the wine as though there were no tomorrow –
LORD ALMIGHTY, how could He have ever seemed like a second Moses –
he is startled now as Jesus meets his gaze –
“Your thoughts are elsewhere. Here –“
the teacher hands him a morsel of bread from his own dish
“- Go then, do what you must”.
[This reflection formed the ‘sermon’ at yesterday’s Holy Week Agape Meal in our parish]