Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

(Ephesians 2:12-22; Luke 12:35-38)

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. However true that it is, we must not trivialize the Last Supper by thinking of it simply as a going-away party. Jesus used it as the occasion to actualize all that he did in the world. He transformed a meal – in this case the traditional Passover Supper – into an eternal legacy by which he would be physically present throughout the ages. 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 this peace that the Letter to the Ephesians underscores here indicating that only through reconciliation with God may our reconciliation with one another take place. The Second Eucharistic Prayer of Reconciliation emphasizes this truth: “You gave him up to death so that we might turn again to you and find our way to one another.”