Mk 14:12-16, 22-26
Memories have flooded me this past week as I thought about the readings for Sunday June 14th. I kept seeing the various meal tables that I have sat at in my life. The memories ranged from our family meals to large family reunion gatherings. Others were of sitting alone in my apartment to the meals I have shared with friends. Finally my mind shifted from eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches shared on a day hike to a lovely meal with several courses shared with friends who knew me at Divinity School. Not all of the gatherings are ones that I would want to repeat and others I would step back into in a flash.
The question that kept coming up for me was this, “How open is my table today?” The other day I sat next to a woman on the train who was very interesting, but had terrible body odor. I had a really tough time being focused on what she said instead of her hard earned perspiration which resulted from her being a mail woman. In the hallway at the hospital I met a young man wanting free food tickets even though his family had just brought in supper from McDonalds. I was reluctant to trust his need for food tickets for the morning.
In the gospel reading for the 14th of June, Jesus sends his disciples out to get the room ready for the meal. The famous painting always shows only the 12 disciples and yet I wonder who else was there? Did Jesus invite everyone who came to the meal or where there folks who heard that Jesus was hosting a Seder meal for Passover and they decided to come? I know that the disciples were not always crazy about the folks with whom Jesus would get involved i.e. the little children, the blind and the lame, the women and the Gentiles. How open were they to special meal?
I want to open myself to the bigness of what Jesus modeled and yet I am sometimes so grateful for the humanness of His followers. I am glad that we celebrate special feasts that lift up Jesus’ generosity and love for His disciples. As they give me hope that I can, with God’s grace, share with others that Sacred Meal that fills my hunger and quenches my thirst. This change may start with one invitation carefully given at a time, but in time it may happen from with ease from a place of abundance and trust.