The Last Supper was Really the First
While many people believe that the 'Last Supper' was the final meal that Jesus had with his disciples, I don't believe this to be true. I believe it was only the first of many. After his crucifixion, Jesus sent us His Spirit to dwell within us so that he could continue doing his work here on earth through us. Henri Nouwen calls this 'God within us'.
I recently had the pleasure of planning a spontaneous dinner. I didn't know who would come to join me at this long empty dinner table. There were two pizza's, three small pasta dishes, some bread and a prayer that it would feed whoever came. As the guests wandered in, some people who came I knew well and some I did not really know at all and for that matter some people I invited didn't come at all. We ate and drank to our hearts content and we began singing songs of praise to God in different languages. We sang in Swahili, Vietnamese, Polish, Hebrew (ok not so good unless Hava Nagila Hava counts) and of course English after which there was a clear recognition that the Holy Spirit had been moving within us and among us and then there was silence as we realized there were exactly 12 of us in attendance. It was one of the most incredible meals of my entire life, the memory of which is forever etched in my soul. I thought, 'where is Jesus at this table?' and then realized, he had truly been present within and among us. As I was clearing the table after all of the guests had left, I noticed that even though we had 12 people eat to their hearts content there was still much of the meal left over. 'How is it possible?', I thought and then I realized that Jesus had truly been present, so it should be no surprise that he had miraculously fed them all that night.
I was moved to re-read biblical accounts of that night, I noticed for the first time in Matthew's gospel that the Disciples had sung a hymn before concluding their meal.
In Luke's gospel I took note that while he was washing the disciples feet that night he made it clear that they were to do what it was that they saw him doing. So it is for us. What he has done for us, the meal of ultimate love, we are to continue to do at mass, at home, anywhere and everywhere the Spirit of God moves us, making His 'last supper' and his sacrifice of self out of love, the first of many.