Editor’s Note: The following is part of Millennial Lenten Reflections, a blog series in collaboration with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Short reflections on the day’s readings, written by young adults from FMS and other organizations, will be posted everyday throughout Lent.
Tonight we begin the Triduum. Tonight we gather to in remembrance of Christ. Tonight we celebrate the institution of the Paschal Meal and join in the Supper of the Lamb. This meal is what the Church has called the “the source and summit of the Christian life” (c.f. Lumen Gentium, 11), so it is important to reflect on what it means.
Our readings today help root the meal in its context within the Hebrew Bible, the Passover meal. In this meal the Israelite’s gathered together to eat, to watch and to pray as they prepared for God to deliver them from slavery. The blood of the lamb marked their homes and saved their children from death. In Ex 12:4, God commands that the meal to be offered with generosity. The poor must be invited in. A man’s neighbor becomes his responsibility. The one with more was called to invite in the one who had less.
This reminds us today that to eat at the supper of the lamb is to come with open hands. Ready to give and ready to receive. Tonight Christ bends down to wash our feet and invites us to imitate his posture.
Billy Kangas is the author of How the First Christians Changed Dying. He blogs at Patheos, Bread for the World, Theologues and Millennial, and can be heard on the Round Table Podcast. He is a theologian, hunger activist and is working on a PhD in Liturgy and Sacramental theology at The Catholic University of America. He currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife and two sons. When he’s not talking about theology, he also lectures and writes about the coffee industry.