I will be sharing this meditation of the Last Supper with my students today. Take a few minutes to read it and reflect on the importance of this day.
Meditation of the Last Supper
Take a deep breath in, count to five, then release. Take another deep breath and release. With this next deep breath release your tension and your stress. Be in the silence. Be nowhere but here now. Let your thoughts be released with your next deep breath. Breathe in and release. Silence for about 15 seconds.
Imagine you are walking in the heat of the day down a sandy road.
You are wearing sandals.
You can feel the sand under your arch and between your toes but it is smooth and not bothersome.
The air is dry and hot but not humid.
You are walking through the middle of a town. There are people scurrying about packing up their goods on their mules and in baskets trying to get home before the sun sets. You watch as they move about so quickly and yet you are walking very slowly.
You find yourself drawn to an older building just down the way.
You stop at the entrance of the structure and notice that the door is open wide.
Again you feel drawn to step in to the building. It is dimly lit but you spot some steps not too far from the entrance.
You walk across the empty room and begin to climb the rickety wooden steps to an upper room. As you emerge from the top of the steps you notice it is a large room, nothing special, very plain but it is occupied.
There are several people sitting on the floor around a long table in the middle of the room.
You feel strangely connected to one of the people seated at the table.
Normally you would turn around and exit because you were obviously not invited to the small gathering but something in you urges you to continue.
You are walking more quietly now.
As you approach the table the people continue talking, they don’t seem to notice you’re in the room, except for the one to whom you feel drawn.
You stop, knowing now that He has sensed your presence.
You consider turning around and running back down the stairs, but instead pause for a second, then you turn towards the exit. Before you can take a single step in that direction you hear him call you by name. His voice is gentle and inviting.
And he says to you “come and join us” and again he says your name.
You turn around and are now face to face with this person.
You recognize his face, but don’t know his name.
His face is like that of a person you have known and loved all your life.
You stand simply staring at him.
As he makes his way towards you all of the people who had been talking turn to watch him go to you. He extends his hand and says “come and sit with me”.
You place your hand in his and feel a rush of energy surge through you and then sense of calm you have never experienced before.
Holding your hand he leads you to the table.
The people shift their positions and you are seated directly across the table from him.
He smiles at you, looks around at his friends, and then bows his head for a moment, maybe to pray.
Everyone is silent but it is a comfortable silence.
Then he says, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover* with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it [again] until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you [that] from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it you, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” And likewise the cup after we had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.
Taking a piece of the bread you eat it and then as they pass the cup to you, you take a drink.
This man, this person that emits peace, makes eye contact with you and in his brown gentle eyes you see only love and compassion.
It’s as though he is talking to you, like no one else is in the room, he is telling you that he loves you.
He gets up from the table walks over to you and you rise to meet him.
He embraces you and whispers in your ear ever so gently, “I have loved you since before you were born,
I will love you for all eternity.
I must go now to give you eternity.
Eat of my flesh and drink of my blood and you shall have everlasting life with me.
Never forget this moment, remember it every time you eat and drink of the Eucharist.”
He holds you so close that you can feel his heart beating.
You long to stay in this moment, to freeze it forever, to never let go.
He slowly breaks your embrace and you watch as he descends the steps and as though in a blur you see the people follow him.
You blink and look about you and the entire room is empty except for the table.
You want to follow him, you want to feel that peace again.
But you can’t seem to move, you feel somewhat paralyzed by this encounter.
You close your eyes again wondering if it really happened.
Then you hear people’s voices beneath the floor boards and it startles you, bringing you back to the awareness of being in the empty room.
You gather yourself and walk to the steps slowly looking back at the table.
You make your way down the steps and find your way back to the entrance of the building you find the door from which you entered it still stands ajar.
You slip through the doorway and find yourself standing on the now quiet road.
Your eyes quickly scan the small area and you notice the crowd just down the way, up the road a bit you see that the man is walking ahead of the rest of them.
You want to follow but something within you says not to.
So you watch as he fades into the distance.
Standing there you feel so complete, something you have never felt before.
You turn the other way and begin to walk down the dark and dusty road.
All the while recalling his words and the peace that still lingers in your soul.
You know that this was a moment you will cherish forever.
Leader instructions (Wait at least thirty seconds before proceeding to the close).
Slowly and quietly take a deep breath in and release it.
Take another deep breath and begin to listen to your breathing.
Clench your fists and release them.
Gently stretch your legs. Cautiously stretch your arms.
Slowly come back to this place, to this room.
Open your eyes and just sit in the silence for another moment.
Slowly sit up and let the peace of the meditation continue to melt into your heart.