Can you imagine the tension building during that last Passover that Jesus celebrated with his friends in that upper room? The rejoicing of the crowds welcoming Jesus on that Palm Sunday may have quieted some of the threat, but the authorities would have been displeased and suspect with Jesus’ welcome on the back of a donkey. That gesture was reserved for when a king wanted to declare a truce of peace before the battle had even begun.
Jesus invites the disciples to go to prepare the room. He had obviously planned ahead with the owner. The Passover meal is very specific. His desire to teach the lesson of servant leadership was pronounced when he disrobed to wash the feet of his friends. He wants the apostles to serve as he serves. To heal, to feed, to bring comfort…to pray as he prayed.
At the meal Jesus lifts bread and invites the apostles and those gathered to see the bread as his body, broken and shared for all. He lifts the cup of wine, he speaks the blessing again, and asks his friends to drink his blood poured out in covenant. To do these simple everyday actions in memory of him.
We believe the bread and wine become his body and blood through the words of consecration. We pray that we become more like Jesus every time we participate in communion. O what a gift Jesus gave us at his last supper. Thank you Lord!
Pat Carter, CSJ is a disciple, a teacher and an advocate for the poor. She has been a Sister of St. Joseph for more than half of her life and loves to use words to inspire faith and laughter. She is a cantor at her parish of St. Jerome’s in Sault Ste. Marie.