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Jesus Gives Us His Body and Blood
Guide: His Example, Broken and Given
This week we come to see and experience the ritual culmination of what Jesus’ life has been about and what it will forever mean. For the one accused of “eating and drinking with sinners,” this is his last supper on earth. This meal represents a way for us to remember and celebrate who he is for us. It is a covenant in his love that both nourishes us for our mission and gives us the example of servant love that marks our identity.
This week we go there to that scene to watch and listen. We become a part of the experience as a person in the scene. Like participants in the annual Passover memorial of the liberation from slavery in Egypt, we enter this scene as though it were happening to us.
Jesus takes his life in his hands and gives it to us. So that we will never forget the meaning of his life for us, the bread of this meal is his body — taken, blessed, broken, and given. The wine is his blood — poured out for the forgiveness of our sins. When he says, “Do this and remember me,” we know he wants us to never forget, but we also know he is calling us to be taken, blessed, broken, and given, that our lives might be poured out in service of others.
When he takes off his outer garment and wraps a towel around his waist, we can sense Jesus knows the time has come for him to fulfill his mission. As we let him wash our feet, the whole of our retreat, up to now, is summed up in this sign of his love for us. Our prayer to be with him in his mission is now granted as he lovingly gives us our mission in this example of his servant love. With him, we have become transformed — for others in the same way he is for us.
Throughout this week, from morning to night, in all the background times, the mystery of what it means to be broken and given, to be poured out in service to others, comes alive in our thinking, our desiring, and our gestures.
Use the resources this week for prayer and reflection. We pray to simply be with Jesus — so we might not miss the full power of his gift to us, so we can let it penetrate our hearts all week.
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