The Intimacy of the Supper Table

Even in our hurried, disconnected culture today, sharing dinner with someone remains an act of intimacy. The host shares what is his or hers to give and the guests receive with gratitude, the food, drink, hospitality and conversation offered. The dinner table creates the possibility of being known. The dinner conversation between Jesus and his disciples unfolds with this very purposeful invitation to be fully known. We can feel the ache Jesus might feel as he gives each disciple freedom to choose how to respond to this gift of intimacy. Some choose to lean and linger while another chooses to flee and hide. We are given this same opportunity to choose intimacy today.

John 13:18-30 (MSG)
“I’m not including all of you in this. I know precisely whom I’ve selected, so as not to interfere with the fulfillment of this Scripture:
The one who ate bread at my table
Turned on his heel against me.
“I’m telling you all this ahead of time so that when it happens you will believe that I am who I say I am. Make sure you get this right: Receiving someone I send is the same as receiving me, just as receiving me is the same as receiving the One who sent me.”
21 After he said these things, Jesus became visibly upset, and then he told them why. “One of you is going to betray me.”
22-25 The disciples looked around at one another, wondering who on earth he was talking about. One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved dearly, was reclining against him, his head on his shoulder. Peter motioned to him to ask who Jesus might be talking about. So, being the closest, he said, “Master, who?”
26-27 Jesus said, “The one to whom I give this crust of bread after I’ve dipped it.” Then he dipped the crust and gave it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. As soon as the bread was in his hand, Satan entered him.
“What you must do,” said Jesus, “do. Do it and get it over with.”
28-29 No one around the supper table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that since Judas was their treasurer, Jesus was telling him to buy what they needed for the Feast, or that he should give something to the poor.
30 Judas, with the piece of bread, left. It was night.

For Reflection and Prayer:
If there was a word, a phrase, or an image that sought your attention as you listened, stay with it and listen deeper with Jesus.
Place yourself in the story as one of the disciples. What do you notice?
If you noticed any place of tension or of ease in yourself as you listened, imagine leaning your head on Jesus’ chest and communing with him there.

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