April 17 – “quick-eyed love”

Thursday April 17 – The Last Supper

In the Christian tradition the Last Supper is celebrated on this day. It’s about a meal, and about the sacredness of hospitality. Last year Pope Francis shocked the Catholic world by celebrating Holy Thursday in a detention center and including non-Catholic prisoners in the ritual of the washing of the feet (including Muslims and women). For many Catholics this was a breath of fresh air; for many it was shocking. Challenging hospitality.

Is it harder to welcome or to allow myself to be welcomed? Being welcomed expands my world according to the people whom I allow to welcome me. A long favorite prayer poem, dating from the 17th century, says for me how important have been the women and men who have found ways to make me welcome when I doubted my place in their place and their lives. That’s what makes me life larger. For you too, I’d bet. Here’s the poem, by George Herbert.

Blessings today.

john sj


Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked anything.
‘A guest,’ I answer’d,’ worthy to be here’:
Love said, ‘You shall be he.’
‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear
I cannot look on Thee.’
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
‘Who made the eyes but I?’
“Truth, Lord, but I have marr’d them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.’
‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘who bore the blame?’
‘My dear, then I will serve.’
‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste My meat.’
So I did sit and eat.

George Herbert 1633

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