In the Jewish tradition, when you share a meal with a person, this person is considered a friend. More so, if the meal is considered the last person’s meal. The people one dines with are not only friends but close, personal, and intimate friends. Hence, the people Jesus dined with during the Last Supper may be considered his own close, personal and intimate friends. Yet Jesus knew what would happen eventually.
First, all except John would scatter during the passion and death of Christ. Second, Peter would deny him three times. Third, Judas would betray him.
If such things can happen to Jesus, it has and it will happen to us as well.
- First, friends will be nowhere to be found. When life was good, friends were always there. The good times, the travel, the dinner, the parties, and milestones in the family. Then we hit rock bottom. They were nowhere to be found. “The subscriber cannot be reached.” This is when we remember the promise of God, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- Second, there will be denial. When life was good, everyone wanted to be with us. Everyone was so proud to be associated with us. Everyone would even name-drop our name. Then we hit rock bottom. Not only is our name not mentioned, not only do people refuse to be associated with us, but people will also even deny us. This is when we remember the words of God. There is no sin that God cannot forgive. The love of God even when we hit rock bottom.
- Third, there will be betrayal. Why is betrayal so painful? Because it comes not from an enemy but from someone you trusted. You became vulnerable, you shared your secrets, you accepted him/her for who they were, and yes, you gave love. Yet the other party had other plans, which did not include you. This is when we remember God who is a promise keeper. He can be trusted.
Tomorrow, as we observe the traditions of Holy Thursday, let us keep in mind:
- We thank God for our true, deep, and real relationships. For some that may be your spouse, family, friend, office mate, or neighbor. For others, it might be your priest, doctor, and yes, sometimes even your lawyer.
- There are also relationships that are simply not meant to be. We move on and let go, remembering to forgive.
- There is one relationship that will remain the same regardless of the season of life, and that is our relationship with God. His ways are different, his timing is different, his wisdom is different and yes, at times he seems quiet. However, he will always be there, he will never deny us and he can be trusted always.