|Meaning behind the Last Supper|
|Thursday, 26 April 2012 00:00|
A LOT has been said about the Lord’s Last Supper, giving rise to myriad interpretations about the true meaning behind the occasion. Many Christians may agree that The Last Supper was the last gathering that Jesus Christ shared with his disciples before his crucifixion and finally ascendance to heaven.
A church leader, Father Anesu Douglas Manyere S.J, has joined the fray on the interesting subject through his recently published book titled “The Giving — Reflections for Prayer and Meditation on the Eucharist”, that tries to cast light on the Lord’s Last Supper in a modern contest.
In the book, Father Manyere taps from both his Christian and personal experiences to address the meaning behind the Last Supper.
Father Manyere urges people to look up to Jesus Christ’s ways of loving even one’s enemies, hence the conclusion why he was equated to the light of the world because of his kindheartedness.
The author challenges people to learn to be “good unto others” after reading the Bible verse where the story of the Last Supper is carried.
Father Manyere lays bare the gist of his book when he writes in his introductory remarks: “What is your experience like after reading the Last Supper discourses in the Bible?
“Do you feel happy or sad, elated or depressed, anxious or angry, confounded and confused? Do you feel moved to do something wonderful for humanity — like building an orphanage or a school or contributing to the many institutes that exist today . . . ?” (Page 6).
By merely reading these lines, one instantly grasps the full import behind “The Giving”, which also helps the reader in having a better understanding of the full meaning of prayer, meditation and the Eucharist.
One good thing about the book is that the author encourages the spirit of sharing a meal — be it as a family, community or nation, which in itself means a lot if taken to mean how a shared meal or shared effort unifies people towards a common goal.
After all, it is said that there is unity in numbers.
“. . . Meals accompany all the important occasions in life. The birth of a child is celebrated with a meal, so is marriage and death. Most important transitions in life are marked with meals. There is no important occasion that is said to be validated without an accompanying meal.
“Sharing food is humankind’s symbol of friendship, trust, and solidarity,” writes Father Manyere in the chapter titled “Our Common Meal”.
Published by WAM based in Harare, Zimbabwe, the 56paged book is a welcome contribution to religious literature in Zimbabwe through the way it casts light into the meanings behind some verses in the Bible.