Thursday, September 8, 2011

letter to a friend: Smile, you can eat me!

Dear Kode,

Because Jesus knew he was about to die, what he did and said during the last meal with his friends is of great importance, and it can be understood as a summary of his life and teaching.

As I told you, when the last supper started, he - the Lord our Teacher - washed the feet of his disciples, and tell them the new commandment: love one another as I have loved you. This, my friend, is the core of being a christian, a follower of Jesus.

Also, during his last supper, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it his friends saying: eat it, this is my body given up for you. Do this to remember me. Likewise he did with a cup of wine. He took it, gave thanks, and passed it to his disciples saying: drink all of you, for this is my blood shed for you. Do this to remember me.

See how surprising this is! If, at that moment, the disciples where the ones to choose how to remember Jesus, they would probably have chosen another image. Some might have wanted to remember Jesus as a great healer and exorcist, casting demons out of people. Some might have chosen to remember him as a great teacher, one who teaches with an inner authority like no one else has. And -who knows- maybe some might have liked to remember him as the one who changed water into wine at a wedding in Canna. While all this images are certainly right, and are complementary one of another, they seem to lack something, like a focus that is made more explicit by saying that Jesus is the bread for us eat and the wine for us to drink. This is so because his life was a constant offering of himself for us. That is what we need to remember. That is what underlied his teaching, his healings, and his concern for the socially excluded. He loved us so much that he gave all his live for us to eat and drink. And now, as his disciples, we are called to love one another like he loved us. We are called to be bread and wine for others. And to do so, like he did, with the joy and freedom of authentic love.

Maybe we, followers of Jesus, should wear a T-shirt saying "Smile, you can eat me!" That would be a fun way to go around.

Finally, let me tell that as catholic I believe that when we gather as Jesus' Church and break the bread an pour the wine, we not only remember Jesus, but he becomes present among us; in the bread and wine he continually gives his life to us.

As always many more things I'd like to say, but they must wait until my next email.

My best wishes and blessings,


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