Advisory. This post deals with a thing generally regarded as most sacred in the older mainline Christian traditions. Pope of Rome John Paul II, in his Catechism, called the Eucharist “the source and summit of the Christian life” (1324). This article is going to mercilessly dissect how Holy Communion operates on the psyches (that is, the souls) of believers. If the Mass, Liturgy or Communion Service is sacred to you and you would not suffer it to be analyzed, then please read no further.
At Mass this evening, I noticed for the first time something about the standard rubrics. While sitting silently beforehand, I found that the prayer of my heart came out as From deceitful people, deliver me! Perhaps because of this, later at consecration, I noticed that it began with the words:
ON THE NIGHT HE WAS BETRAYED
As I sort of zoomed in on these words, I started having some aha moments. My first thought was: What if that phrase is there to tell us where Jesus was at in that most revered moment, namely a little ticked at getting a very raw deal at the hands of a sell-out? What, in other words, if Jesus was feeling the heat and accordingly doing exactly what he taught with the words “turn the other cheek”? In short, what if Jesus was *gasp*:
So yeah, at this point I’m wondering: What if the Last Supper is Jesus’s “passive-aggressive masterpiece”? And what if it was indeed? Has this Mystery not become a communal immune system booster, making members of the Body of Christ psychologically impervious to the dampening effects of various attacks (“persecutions”)? Perhaps what the Mass implies is:
BECAUSE JESUS ALREADY WEATHERED SOMETHING HE CLEARLY PERCEIVED AS THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, THEREFORE I WHO PARTAKE LITERALLY OF JESUS AM UNPERTURBED BY ANY COMERS.
Other Abrahamic adherents may call Christians “idolaters” and “cannibals”, but what if the true meaning of the Incarnation and the Last Supper was so we’d have some of the most sobering examples of self-denial imaginable?
So yeah, you would probably be within reason to term the mood of the Last Supper at least superficially one of passive-aggression, victim-signaling, turning the other cheek or going the extra mile. But what’s the aftertaste like? Could it be that the energy of the Lord’s Supper is a portal to a new and more robust expression of divine love, an internal revolution, namely:
CONSPICUOUS ACCEPTANCE OF ONE’S FATE AND PERHAPS SOMETHING AKIN TO THE SUBMISSION IN LOVE OF THE LATER RELIGIOUS FIGURE RUMI?
Is Jesus not saying See that I am betrayed and condemned without cause! with so bold a gesture that all considerations of “whether or not the person (in this case Jesus) is actually betrayed, condemned or even whether or not it really is without cause” are quickly sidelined and made secondary? The spotlight of the Gospel (even Mark’s!) is on the fact that Jesus owned and resolved his victimization, transforming it into a sacrament, the Blessed Sacrament!
Isn’t it just amazing what something that looks like the most “cheeky” approach to the most shite situation can accomplish and inspire? Well, that’s all I had to say about that.