He loved His own in the world and He loved them to the end. John 13:1
Today is Holy Thursday. It’s a day to remember the last Passover meal Jesus celebrated with His Apostles. The ritual He performed that evening is now the high point of the The Mass.
When I used to hear, “Do this in memory of Me,” I always focused on the miraculous aspect of the Consecration. It amazes me to think Jesus gave the Apostles, and now our priests, the grace to transform the bread into His body, and the wine into His blood. What I never focused on was the human side of what Jesus was saying.
For three years, Jesus spent morning, noon and night with His Apostles. They did everything with each other, and for each other. Like we all know from our college days, when you spend that much time with people, the bonds grow deep. I think Jesus loved His Apostles even before He chose them; but sharing all that time, and all those experiences together, wove the Apostles into the very fibers of His heart.
Reflecting on that has me seeing things in a whole new light. In the past, I looked at His time in the Garden of Gethsemane from just one perspective. When Jesus asked God to take away His cup, I thought He was only asking God to spare Him the physical pain of the crucifixion. Now I see that request overlaid with an emotional piece as well: to be spared the separation from His friends. Of course He knew He’d always be with them in spirit, and would appear to them in the flesh a few times after His resurrection, but never again would He be with them like before.
I now think when He said, “Do this in memory of Me,” He was also saying, “Please remember me. Please remember our deep love and connection. Remember our friendship and all the memories we shared. Remember how it was, and how good we had it together. Remember me as your forever friend.”
There is so much more to Jesus’ sacrifice than I ever realized. I was grateful before; but realizing just how much He gave up for me has me indebted to Him like never before.
Questions For Reflection:
* Do I often stop and appreciate the friendships I have, and how much they impact my life?
* Do I recognize that as a human being, Jesus’ friendships meant just as much to Him?
* Does that help me to further appreciate His sacrifice for me?