Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
It is said that Jesus enjoyed eating and drinking so much that he chose to spend his last hours with his disciples doing just that. We must not trivialize the meaning of the Last Supper by talking of it as a “going-away party” among friends. It was that and much more. Jesus used it as the occasion to symbolize all that he did in the world. He transformed a meal – in this case the traditional Passover Supper – into the way he would be remembered forever. The reading from the Letter to the Ephesians today summarizes what that meal, which we know as the first Eucharist, means.
The Letter calls Jesus “our peace ... who broke down the dividing wall of enmity through his flesh.” Jesus becomes our peace at the Eucharist not primarily because we begin mass with the penitential rite, but because in the mass we re-member or reconstitute Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross at Calvary. He gives his flesh and blood to reconcile us to God and to one another. It is the latter peace that the Letter to the Ephesians underscores here, but it is only through reconciliation with God that our reconciliation with one another can take place. As the Second Eucharistic Prayer of Reconciliation puts it: “You gave him up to death so that we might turn again to you and find our way to one another.”