Tonight we begin the Triduum. Tonight we gather together in remembrance of Christ. Tonight we celebrate the institution of the Paschal Meal and join in the Supper of the Lamb. This meal is what the Church has called the “the source and summit of the Christian life” (c.f. Lumen Gentium, 11), so it is important to reflect on what it means.
Our readings today help root the meal in its context within the Hebrew Bible, the Passover meal. In this meal, the Israelites gathered together to eat, to watch, and to pray as they prepared for God to deliver them from slavery. The blood of the lamb marked their homes and saved their children from death. In Ex 12:4, God commands that the meal be offered with generosity. The poor must be invited in. A man’s neighbor becomes his responsibility. The one with more was called to invite in the one who had less.
This reminds us today that to eat at the supper of the lamb is to come with open hands. Ready to give and ready to receive. Tonight Christ bends down to wash our feet and invites us to imitate his posture.