Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What's that in the bread, it's gone to my head?

Reflections for Tuesday in Holy Week

Just some random thoughts on today's gospel reading; more for my own reflection but it is a good discipline to write for others. I find it helps me to be more honest in  my own reflections.

John 13.21-38

Jesus is troubled: it is party time - Passover - he has his close friends gathered around him,the stress of the past week and the enormity of what lies ahead of him weighs on his mind. His disciples, all perhaps but Judas, are relaxed reclining around him, eating and drinking, not sure of what has just happened, confused by what the Master is saying, unaware of what is about to occur.

Even bold and brash Simon Peter ask 'the disciple whom Jesus loves' to find out what Jesus is really saying (V.24).

What a picture we have here: a loving  disciple reclining against Jesus; Judas waiting for the moment to leave the gathering and go to betray Jesus - did he take the purse with him? It is implied that he had it on him (V.29); Simon Peter, perhaps in party mode, pledging loyalty  to death - Jesus knowing that Peter is big on words and weak on action.

Gathered around Jesus in this cameo is the "A" team; those called to 'train the  trainers', to be the absolvers of the absolvers, to be the witnesses to the Resurrection.  When Jesus needs them they are spent and tired. I am not a great fan of the  Weber/Rice  Jesus Christ, Superstar but it has some great insights, one of them being the song the  'Last Supper'


Always hoped that I'd be an Apostle.
New that I would make if I tried.
Then when we retire we can write the Gospels,
And they'll still talk about us when we die.

You can almost hear them saying: "come on Jesus, dont spoil the party, it a holiday weekend, chill man - let's talk about this in the morning".

Lovers, accusers and friends; drunks and determined; some in vino veritas and some as cold as steel. Such are those Jesus gathers around him when he is most in need, whose dirty feet he washes and for whom he offers his body.

As much as I try to escape it, I am there too. So which one  am I?

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