Meals draw people together. There is
an African saying that “good soup draws
the stools close to each other”. To agree to
share a meal with somebody is to agree to
share his or her love with them and to
commit oneself to that person’s values.
Food shared expresses unity. That is why
during’ the Last Supper Jesus shows
affection for his betrayer to help him
realise the love he has for him and to invite
him to repent (Ps 41(40): 9; Mt 26:23; Jn

During that special meal, a blessing
was spoken over the bread before it was
broken and shared among the members of
the family. A similar prayer was said over
the wine that was to be shared by all. Such
prayers could have been what we would
call grace before meals. However, when
Jesus prays them they take on a special

His whole life had been a witness to
God’s love (Jn 3:16) and he invited others
to respond in their turn with love. The wine
that he blesses and shares with the
disciples is his own very life generously yet
freely spent for others. Through the life,
death and resurrection of Jesus these very
ordinary signs of bread and wine become a
message important for all times and for all
peoples. They become signs and
instruments of God’s unconditional love
made visible in the life and death of Jesus.

To share in the Eucharistic meal as
the of followers of Jesus, is to commit
ourselves to “do this in memory” of him.
What are we to do in his memory? To give
our lives fully and freely in love for him
and in humble service to the poor and the
excluded in society.


Fr Simon Okelezo is a priest of the Archdiocese of Lagos ordained by the former Archbishop of Lagos, His Eminence Anthony Cardinal Okogie. He resumed his assignment at Ave Maria Catholic Church on the 2nd October, 2014 as the first Parish Priest.

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