Meal of Love

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The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Flor Lagura SVD – Christ the King Seminary, Quezon City

Holy Wednesday in Holy Week

Image: Wikimedia Commons, Leonardo Da Vinci

On their way to face certain death, Roman gladiators would face the Roman emperor, raise their fists and shout, “We who are about to die, salute you!” (Morituri te salutamus!) And the thousands of spectators, lusting for blood and death of the condemned gladiators, would gleefully shout out their approval.

Fast-tracking to the last century, when his father was dying of painful cancer, the poet from Wales, Dylan Thomas, with sadness mixed with fury, ruefully wrote,

“Do not go gentle into that good night, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

With the tenderness of a tremendous lover, on the eve of his death, Jesus invited his close friends to a secluded room for a meal. Knowing who among them would betray him, who would abandon him, Jesus still offered his friendship to all his friends, even a chance for Judas Iscariot to withdraw his evil plan with a gesture which Jesus and Judas alone clearly understood. But to no avail.

To the rest, Jesus offered the best of himself: his body and blood in the form/ species of bread and wine.

Unlike gladiators who, with violence and force, eliminated each other, unlike Dylan Thomas who would “rage, rage against the dying of night,” Jesus left the meal of love in quiet solemnity.

Accompanied to the Garden of Gethsemane by his loyal friends, the Lord knelt and shed “sweat, blood and tears” as he manfully accepted his Father’s will, saying, “Father, not my will, but thine be done.” (cf Luke 22,42)

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