The supper with the Lord
The Lord says in the Apocalypse: ”Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Ap. 3:20).
The Lord knocking at our gate is the Risen Lord, is the omnipresent Lord, thus always present at all moments. He will not knock at my gate just one day, so that then I cannot say when he will come again. He is always knocking. And what gate is this, what house? It’s our hearts. It’s our spirits. It’s us.
The Lord is always knocking at our gate. Jesus, the Almighty and Glorious One, is knocking, saying: “Maybe someone is hearing me knocking!”. So the first thing we have to do is to open our spiritual ears, since many a time we do not hear Him either. If we consider that Jesus is always knocking, how many times we do not hear Him! So let’s ask Him the gift of listening, of spiritual listening.
When we pray, when we live with Jesus, our spirits sour and start “hearing”, while dragging our humanity up. So, if we can hear Jesus knocking, we certainly open to Him, we do not leave our gate closed in front of Him. We open to Him and He says to us: “We will sup together!”
In the time when Saint John wrote that, but in our times too, supper is just communion, the agape. When we invite brothers to supper, it means that they are close to us, since we share our food with them. Thus Jesus wants to supper with us and says: “…and will sup with him”, that is Jesus comes and shares what is ours. So He takes on our human nature and weights. He comes and embraces all that is ours.
“I with him and he with Me”.
“He with Me” means that He take us with Him. While “He with us” shares our human nature, “We with Him” share His divinity.
All that is a wonderful thing, belonging to every day and moment. Jesus is knocking and wants to live our daily situations with us. And if Jesus has risen and now He lives with us, He will bear his resurrection into our critical situations. When I am sacked from a job, when I am unappreciated where I work, when I have got difficulties in my family, when my children disappoint me not doing what I would like them to do…, then and there Jesus is knocking to take on all those situations and make them rise by using our hearts.
Many times we feel like a block, like a wall between Jesus and us. So if we try to pray, our prayer is poor and we cannot understand what is hampering us from being in direct contact with Him. And what Risen Jesus does at that moment? He says to us: “Give me your sin, give me your death!”
That wall is my death. Death and sin are the same thing. Not the physical death of our body but the spiritual death coming from sin leads us to fear that we are unworthy people. Thus, judging ourselves, we think: “It’s impossible that the Risen One will come to me!”. So what is the solution? It is so simple, my brothers, let’s live our death and offer it to Him. “Lord, I give you my death, I give you my sin. Come and take it away”. Jesus burdened Himself with all the sins of the world. He did not leave mine apart. He took mine too! So I give Him my sin, my death and what happens? As soon as I give Him my sin, my death (really, with all my heart), Risen Jesus makes me rise. He makes me rise personally if I am alone with Him and makes us rise as a community if we are praying all together.
Sometimes, during the community prayer, the poor leading people feel like tired, so tired…and prayer fails. But at that moment, if we offer our death to the Lord, also helping each brother of ours to do the same, our liberation will come immediately, so our Resurrection will come too! It’s easy, though the devil, who is really a wicked devil, sometimes will cloud our minds and goes on accusing us and we go on accusing ourselves, saying: “I cannot lead this prayer and wonder how many devils must be here today. They won’t us pray…” On the contrary, offering our death would be enough and we shall be all risen. Thus if there are devils here, they will go away.
From a Resurrection to another Resurrection
Such is the “supper with the Lord” and I will say that it is a main point of our charismatic life. In this supper we are waiting for the Lord. If I want to feel the Lord I have to wait for Him. If I do not wait for Him, I cannot feel Him. And the bigger is my wish, the more deeply the effusion of the Holy Spirit goes into my heart.
In other words, our growth is this: at the beginning we would give a little space to the Lord and the Lord would fill this little space. Though, as we go on, from a resurrection to another resurrection (Saint Paul says: “from glory to glory”), the space we give to Jesus in ourselves increases. We give Him more time. We do not consider His time passing any longer, we do not look at our watch every two minutes any longer. We may even stay there and pray or work for Him till midnight without noticing it. We do not measure material time nor love any longer and everybody loves in the same way, with Jesus’ love, because Jesus “sups” with us and “sups” with those whom we invite to, our brothers.
Such is charismatic life, such is the ascesis of Resurrection: continuously offering to the Lord (moment by moment, situation by situation) our death and really waiting with all our hearth and strength for the Spirit of Resurrection, which Risen Jesus is continuously sending to us. Our task is waiting.
Of course, if I am waiting for the Lord, I do not commit coarse sins, I do not speak ill of my neighbour, I avoid all that is disliked by Jesus. If I know that He is coming, I “prepare my house” a bit, I “sweep the floor”, spiritually. Indeed, what I am saying means that a minimum of clearness is already in my heart, as Christian life requires.
If I am waiting for the Lord that way, with all my heart, my strength and my wish, thus I give Him my death and all the dimensions of it, which I do not know throughout either, since Death is in my inheritance, is in me, in passing time. Every day we live our death. So if I give all these dimensions of my death to Jesus, He makes rise them all.
Now I revise my past and the bad things of it as well, the wounds I was hurt with but I do not see them like wounds any longer, I see them like healings. I can see God’s love who loved me in those situations, saving me. While looking at my future, I know that I shall fall again, for I am not a perfect creature, but I am on eagle’s wings and know that God’s love has already saved all my faults, in eternity.
Though that is not to encourage to make faults! But it is an encouragement not to fear to make possible faults, since God’s love is greater.
We become really optimist people: not in a human sense, as we are good–tempered people, but because we look at history (and at all the little stories around us as well) with the glance of Resurrection.
Now our conversion is simpler and more effective. Before knowing charismatic life I did my best to be converted but the sins I tried to sack out of me on one side reappeared on the other. I fought against a defect of mine and then another was coming. And if I succeeded in winning those defects, what happened? Proud was there! Such is man when he fights against his defects with his only strength. Then he becomes a very strict man and accuses all the others. We are not able to get out from our sin, from our anguish!
So how is our conversion like? In charismatic life we do not lecture people a lot but we live moment by moment, offering our situations to Jesus, asking Him for His power, asking Him to act through us: such is conversion!
Instead of acting with our little strength, our little head, our limits and sins, we ask Jesus, I repeat it, to act through us! Then all that we do is touched by His love and all our life becomes charismatic, given by God as a gift to all our brothers, those who are present, those who live far from us and even the future ones.>
(Training course for the servant leaders of the Risen Jesus Community, December 1989)