I wonder how Jesus spent Holy Wednesday. Traditional understanding of the Thursday-Sunday of Holy week is fixed, though perhaps not correctly understood, but what about Wednesday? On Thursday, we commemorate the last Passover meal that Jesus spent with his disciples before going out to the garden of Gethsemane to pray and then be betrayed and arrested. On Friday, he is put on trial and then executed. So how did he spend his last ordinary day? Was any day ordinary for Jesus?
I recently talked with a person who has been attending our church. She has been sick for a while, but she is still fighting. Last Saturday, I was called to her home where she was not conscious. Her friends were afraid that she would not make it through the night. Most people who seem to know that they are living their last day are either imprisoned behind bars awaiting execution or imprisoned in their own bodies awaiting release.
I wonder if Jesus knew that Wednesday was the last ordinary day of his life. Did he know that the end was that close? If he knew, did he make sure to spend time with the people with whom he was closest? Did he take his mother, Mary, to lunch or give her flowers? Did he tie up loose ends so he wouldn’t leave his family financially burdened? Was that the day he cleared the temple, having wanted to turn over those money changers’ tables for years, but now he had nothing to lose?
What would you do if you had nothing to lose? Would you eat an outrageously expensive meal because you knew that when the credit card bill came you’d already be gone? Would you give away your most precious belongings so people would have them to remember you? Would you make some calls or write some notes forgiving and asking for forgiveness? Would you do pretty much the same things that you do almost every day?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every ordinary day was spent with joy, forgiving and in forgiveness, giving away that which is precious, and committing outrageous acts of justice and peacemaking? Perhaps if we made a habit of doing those things every day then nothing about us would be ordinary.
Rev. Michael Piazza