Tuesday of Holy Week – Jesus sets the table

The Story of the Last Supper: Luke 22:7-23

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.” They asked him, “Where do you want us to make preparations for it?” “Listen,” he said to them, “when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters and say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.” So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.

When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!” Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.

Meditation: A Meal of Anticipation
(Aileen Verdun)

The room is prepared:
the food set out,
the disciples gather.

This is it! The time they’ve all been waiting for.

Passover has come,
the festival of liberation from their oppressors.

And with the coming of this celebration,
Jesus seems to have begun in earnest his messianic plans.

The energy in the air is palpable.
Surely this is the time for God’s liberation of his people
from their Roman oppressors.

The disciples are not the only ones full of anticipation.
There’s an eagerness in Jesus’ hosting of the meal.

He’s long been waiting to share this food with his disciples.
He’s long be thinking about what this meal will mean
for them and all his followers in the coming days.

The disciples are ready to follow Jesus,
they are ready to fight for him, kill for him.

But instead of a war cry coming from Jesus’ lips,
instead of retribution against the Romans,
they hear him speak of his own suffering.

Jesus speaks of his body breaking,
and his blood poured out,
without a fight.

What is this?

This is not the language of victory,
this is language of death.

It is Passover.
Liberation is at hand.
But not as they expected.

But we are not there yet.
For now, we are with Jesus and the disciples at the table.

Full of anticipation,
full of hope …
and trepidation.

Song:  “Jesus, Feed Us”  (Gord Johnson, performed by Steve Bell)

Again and again and again
To this table we come
Once a people estranged
Now as one in your name

In your mercy and grace
Forgiven of all we’ve confessed
By your body and blood
One last thing we request

To you we pray
Jesus, feed us
Feed us, Jesus
Feed us, Jesus, with your healing love


Creator of all,
you are the giver of life and food,
of drink and bread.

In a time when we cannot physically gather for meals,
in a time when we cannot share in the Eucharist together,
we pray,

Jesus feed us! Feed us Jesus!
Feed us, Jesus, with your healing love.

Reflection Song:  “When the Deal Goes Down” (Bob Dylan)

In the still of the night, in the world’s ancient light
Where wisdom grows up in strife
My bewildered brain, tolls in vain
Through the darkness on the pathways of life
Each invisible prayer is like a cloud in the air
Tomorrow keeps turning around
We live and we die, we know not why
But I’ll be with you when the deal goes down

We eat and we drink, we feel and we think
Far down the street we stray
I laugh and I cry and I’m haunted by
Things I never meant nor wished to say
The midnight rain follows the train
We all wear the same thorny crown
Soul to soul, our shadows roll
And I’ll be with you when the deal goes down

Well the moon gives light and shines by night
And I scarcely feel the glow
We learn to live and then we forgive
O’er the road we’re bound to go
More frailer than the flowers, these precious hours
That keep us so tightly bound
You come to my eyes like a vision from the skies
And I’ll be with you when the deal goes down

Well I picked up a rose and it poked through my clothes
I followed the winding stream
I heard the deafening noise, I felt transient joys
I know they’re not what they seem
In this earthly domain, full of disappointment and pain
You’ll never see me frown
I owe my heart to you, and that’s sayin’ it true
And I’ll be with you when the deal goes down

Wine Before Breakfast

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