A reflection by Vicar Mark Fischer
It is Holy Week as I write my May Parish Echo reflection. On Tuesday of Holy Week, I participated in a sacred space experience titled “The Walk: broken……and given. This sacred space experience was a series of stations, twelve in all. You walk from one station to the next; each with a theme on which the person was invited to reflect about his/her life and then enter into a time of prayer.
The picture above (best viewed in color) is from a tapestry of The Last Supper, modeled after Da Vinci’s painting The Last Supper, that was part of one of the stations. As I looked and reflected on what it would have been like to have been a participant at this last meal with Jesus, three pieces from the tapestry gave me pause. 1) There is a woman present in it, most likely Mary Magdalene. Even in Da Vinci’s painting, I had never noticed that. In a male dominated, patriarchal society, regardless of whether it is the time of Jesus or the medieval times of Da Vinci, women had no place or standing. (There are people who say this is not a woman but one of Jesus’ twelve disciples possibly, John the beloved disciple.) 2) On the left seated next to the woman is a man with his hands on a money bag or purse. Is this Judas? My research says it is Judas and in the bag are the 30 pieces of silver that he was given for betraying Jesus to the Jewish religious authorities. And 3) if there are only 11 disciples present, who is missing? Who is missing? Why would Da Vinci only have 11 disciples in his masterpiece? Does it matter which disciple is missing? These are the questions that have bedeviled me and left me wondering in the time since I completed this powerful Holy Week experience. After several hours of driving and pondering, I had one of those Ah-ha moments. I am the missing disciple in the painting. When you get to read this reflection, we are living in the season of Easter. The darkness of Calvary is past, the stone has been rolled away, the tomb is empty, and we live in the glorious light of Jesus’ resurrection. God has taken the broken pieces of our lives (Think of 2 Corinthians 4:7) and restored and redeemed us in the blood of Jesus shed on the cross. If Da Vinci was inviting us into the sacred space of his painting of the Last Supper as one of Jesus’ disciples, perhaps we are to ponder what it means for each of us to be called and sent out into a world that is consumed with self-interest. What will our answer and response be as one who is called and sent?