Sunday, April 04, 2010

THE LAST SUPPER (by P N Benjamin)

An enduring episode in the annals of Christian art and history is the 'Last Supper' of Jesus Christ. Hours before his fateful trial for treason, Jesus Christ had hosted his disciples a Passover meal in an upper room in Jerusalem. This was the final meal he had prior to his crucifixion. He knew that his hour was drawing near.

However, before partaking of the food, Jesus rose from the table, took off his outer garments and tied a towel around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin, and insisted washing the feet of his twelve disciples sitting around him. He was thereby showing them once more that every act of true humility is a sort of grace whereby the soul grows as the will, or ego, diminishes. Intrigued and bashful at the same time, one of them exclaimed: 'You, Lord, washing my feet?' The Great One answered: ' At present you do not understand what I am doing, but one day you will.'

After washing their feet, he put on his garment and sat down again. Addressing them he said: 'do you understand what I have done for you? You call me master and lord, and rightly so, because that is what I am. If I then, your lord and master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. I have set you an example: you are to do as I have done for you.'

Yes, the Great Christ himself knelt on the hard floor, and with his graceful hands, cleansed the feet of each and every of his disciple. This inspiring parable gives us a significant insight into Christ's humility and the essentiality of his message:

"He who wants to be great must become the smallest of all." (Mark 9.35). Thus, he showed his disciples how to escape from the little dark cells our egos make. Whosoever would be great in this world, he was always telling them, is small; and whoever, through his sense of God’s greatness, realizes his own smallness, becomes spiritually great. As things turned out, it was to be their last Passover; it was also the first Holy Communion service in the Christian history.

For the first time those mysterious words were spoken: Take, eat; this is my body… this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins…Words to be endlessly repeated, in every language, to the accompaniment of every ritual, or in stark simplicity. At this original austere Last Supper, Christ showed how, through the Blessed Sacrament – the bread he broke and the wine he sipped with his disciples – he would remain always within their reach.

Article by:
Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue (BIRD)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Ground Report India publishes articles as they are given. Ground Report India is not responsible for views of writers, critics and reporters. For any contradiction, please contact to the author.

Please give your Name, Email, Postal Address and Introduction with comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.