By Daniel Franklin E. Pilario, CM

[Holy Thursday 2020]

Bread and wine.
“Take this all of you and eat it.
This is my body which will be given up for you.”
“Take this all of you and drink from it.
This is the cup of my blood… Do this in memory of me.”

And all shared food together in one room
With wine and friends, with joy and laughter
There were many happy meals before
But this one is different; mixed feelings and all
it is held in remembrance of God’s care;
He washed their feet and asked them to do the same;
They heard some parting words from a dear friend
and the call to love till the end.

This last meal – this last supper;
The Eucharist - as Christians called it later
To give thanks for God’s blessing
To bless others in His or Her keeping.

But that was on better days.
Those times are gone.

In a time of pandemic.
Two kilos of rice.
Three cans of sardines.
Three packs of noodles.

We cook it, divide it, and share it
For a family of five or eight;
And to conserve some for tomorrow
For no one knows when the next relief goods would show.

And that is Eucharist too.

But I have also heard of mothers
who gave her family’s share away
They knew their neighbor had nothing for a week now
Their kids had been crying all night long;
And they did not know what to do and where to go.
And that is Eucharist too.

I know of mothers – young and old;
They were supposed to “stay home” as the authorities say;
Or to care for their families like others do.
But they still go out to take care of their neighbors’ needs
To deliver them rice, noodles and bread each day
To make sure these reach the weakest and the farthest;
The unknown, the unseen, the nameless, the faceless.

And that is Eucharist too.

And there were valiant doctors and nurses.
They did not even have time to eat nor rest.
They spend their long waking hours to care for the sick.
Until one day they also get the disease
And alone they died, away from familiar faces
No time for goodbyes; no tears shed and no hugs given
“There is no greater love than they who offer their lives for their friends.”

And that is Eucharist too.

For what Jesus said that night.
He proved in deed the day after.
On the cross on that far mountain
Without power, without fame
Without friends; without no one;
Purely nothing.

And that is Eucharist too!

Daniel Franklin E. Pilario, C.M.
St Vincent School of Theology
Adamson Unviversity