From Brother Mike: I acquired this oil painting on papyrus in Cairo, Egypt in 2015. I bought the frame and matting from Hobby Lobby when I returned home. This piece hangs over my home altar.
I had a bit of trouble finding the right frame and matting, so I asked one of the sales people for some help. Neither one of us thought this combination would work because of the rough texture of the papyrus and the rough texture of the burlap matting. But you can see, they work really well with each other. I can see now that the color and the texture of the matting ... and the color and texture of the halos are a good complement.
Speaking of halos, have you noticed that one character is missing his halo? Who would that be? At the left hand of Jesus is Judas. It is important to note, that even though Jesus knew Judas was going to betray him, he still included Judas in the first Holy Communion. God’s grace was still available to Judas, even at that late hour. This, along with the story of the thief on the cross, should remind us that it is never too late to turn back to God.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke all describe this as the Passover Meal of Jesus and his disciples. The Passover lambs were slaughtered during the day on Thursday, and then, that evening, people all over and around Jerusalem celebrated the Passover Meal. This is a ritual that observant Jews still practice today.
When the meal was over Jesus, started something new and different.
He lifted up the bread and gave thanks to God. He broke the bread and gave it to his disciples saying, “Take and eat this. This is my body which is broken for you.”
Then Jesus lifted up a cup of wine and gave thanks to God. He gave it to his disciples and said; “Drink from this, all of you. This is my blood which is poured out for many people and with it God makes his agreement with you.”
Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
What a humble beginning to a sacrament that has blessed the lives of billions of people. It is hard to believe that we will celebrate Easter Sunday without Holy Communion this year ... but the outward act of communion is only an ensign of an inward and spiritual grace, which will be even stronger this year because we must be apart.
Be faithful, my friends! Brother Mike