The Angelus

The Body and Blood of Christ, Solemn Mass, Procession through Times Square, and Benediction, by the Rector

Before I get to the sermon, I want to remind all of us, myself included, of one important and inaccurate custom we find in all the principal translations of the New Testament into English: Jesus and his disciples were not “at table eating.” No table is mentioned in the Greek text of today’s gospel. This is what it says: “as they were reclining and eating.”[1] The verb “reclining” said it all. In the time of the New Testament, people reclined on couches around a U-shaped or crescent table.[2] In the context of this supper, and at this point in the journey (and recalling the remark in John about how the disciple Jesus loved lay close to Jesus’ breast[3]), the manner in which they were actually eating carries the meaning of intimate fellowship.
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