Thursday of Holy Week – A Maundy Thursday Meditation
“I Am the Bread of Life”
We were never on welfare
but I know there were times early on
when my parents had to scrape by.
The clue was
I had brown sugar or corn syrup sandwiches
in my lunch bag.
And one time,
it was a mashed potato sandwich. It all sufficed.
There was never a day when we had to skip a meal, or two meals,
or any days with only water and no meal at all.
When dinner got down to wieners and beans,
or fish sticks and carrots,
it seemed obvious we were just waiting till payday.
My Dad was never out of work.
My Mom would find ways of adding to the family income.
So, in our family of five that I first knew,
that later became a family of seven,
we never starved.
And fortunately, my mother knew how to mend and sew.
So even with hand-me-downs, or patched up pants,
or bargain basement clothes from Eaton’s*,
none of us ever lacked clothing.
Wisdom gathered from the Great Depression years,
resourcefulness learned in the crucible of a single-parent family of eight
that my mother grew up in
served to keep us fed, clothed, and sheltered.
None of us, as children grown into adults,
who generated our own couplings and families,
has had to deal with that kind of scarcity.
At least, not for long.
There are, for sure, other forms of poverty and want.
Depletion of mental capacities is one;
emotional exhaustion another;
spiritual vacuity also exists and happens.
In one sphere, or another,
or in some combination of them,
we experience a shortage, a lack, even an emptiness.
By another name, we call that hunger and thirst.
Contra to that sad news,
that depleting space and place,
there is glad news,
and help, and hope close at hand.
Taste and see how God is multi-grain good.
Reach out, pray, open yourself to receiving.
“I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me shall never hunger.
Whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
Nourishment, libation, satisfaction,
renewed strength and vitality
is ours for the asking.
At-home activity options
If you can handle the taste of lamb, have some form of Passover meal.
Whatever you choose to dine on, end with bread and wine or grape juice
and share an Agape meal at table with loved ones.
Or … create a Zoom meeting or other multi-contact experience with family, friends, neighbours, others in our congregation. Imagine you are all at table with Jesus for the Last Supper (and I am quite convinced there were women followers there as well as the 12 men who are named). Engage in the kind of conversation you think they might have had. End with sharing bread and wine/juice together in a kind of toast to faith and life and God.