Invitation to Prayer
When we meditate on a saying or scene of the Gospel, we do not meditate on a text but on him of whom the text treats and to whom it points: the person of Jesus Christ (Hans Urs von Balthasar, Christian Meditation, 34).
The Psalm (Psalm 147:12-20)
12 Extol the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion,
13 for he strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your people within you.
14 He grants peace to your borders
and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
15 He sends his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?
18 He sends his word and melts them;
he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
19 He has revealed his word to Jacob,
his laws and decrees to Israel.
20 He has done this for no other nation;
they do not know his laws.
Praise the LORD.
The Scripture Reading (Luke 22:7-13)
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover."
"Where do you want us to prepare for it?" they asked.
He replied, "As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there." They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
We need not resort to “symbols” to find grace in the last supper. Indeed, as Jesus speaks of his shed blood and broken body, the grace of the cross is anticipated. But grace was at work before the bread was broken and the cup poured. The room was already arranged for, fully furnished just as Jesus had said. Again we see the dance between our own efforts (prepare the meal) and grace that leads us to what we never worked for or planned for (the furnished room).
How do your daily efforts move in time with the rhythms of grace? What do you prepare, and what do you simply discover as ready and waiting for you – a gift of grace?
Gracious God, we wake every day to a world in which you have called us to work, to serve, to obey. And we also wake every day to a world full of grace. So much has been made ready for us in ways that we cannot fully grasp. Help us to receive your grace today with thankful hearts, through Christ our Lord. Amen