"It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end." John 13: 1 (NIV)
What an evening. Our son is home on leave for a few days before he deploys for roughly 7-8 months. This will be our first deployment since our son joined the Navy. I am not looking forward to it. In light of this, our family has come together during these past few days to do one thing - celebrate our family love. One way that this happened was at a beautiful restaurant about a week ago. Around the table, our family laughed and relished in the fun of the evening - remembering things from vacations to embarrassing moments, all under the umbrella of love. For this mama, my heart couldn't have been any more filled with love. It was a few hours that I will remember for a lifetime, a meal filled with love. Yet, as with anything in this earthly world, that moment came to an end and now it remains a wonderful memory.
During this Lenten season, it reminded me of when Jesus gathered his immediate earthly family, His disciples, around the table - the table of the last supper. He knew the preparations that needed to be made and saw to every detail. It was a cherished moment for Jesus. It would soon be a cherished moment for the disciples as well. That meal was filled with love.
It was at that table that Jesus washed the disciples' feet. It was at that table that Jesus declared the body and blood that would be shed for us all, the ultimate sacrifice. To me, this meal is such an incredible depiction of Jesus' love. That evening, as Jesus and his disciples gathered around the table, it was more than just to have a meal and reminisce about times together. It was the meal that would carry on forever. It was the meal that showed all of us Jesus' love in such a genuine fashion. The body and blood that Jesus declared during that last supper wasn't just for the disciples. The body and blood of Jesus is for each and every one of us.
That table continues today as we gather for Holy Communion, knowing that we gather to receive Jesus' love through His body and blood. When we gather for a meal with our families and enjoy the time together, the love we share, may we also remember the table of Jesus. May we remember that as we gather around Jesus' table, there is such love shared there - the love He has for each and every one of us. It is not just a memory - we can rejoice in that love each time we approach the Holy Table for this sacrament. That is truly the Supper of Love.
Dearest Jesus, may we always be reminded of your agape love as we stand at the table of Holy Communion. As we received your body and blood, may we cherish in our hearts the love you give to us, each and every day. As we receive that holy meal, may our hearts be filled with joy. In your holy name we pray, Amen!