Sunday Within The Octaves Of Corpus Christi Day Which Is Accounted The Second Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Luc.14.v.16 Sunday Meditation
The Last Supper (detail)
GOSPEL Luke 14:16-24At that time, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees this parable: "A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.' And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.' And the servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.' "
This feast (for so it was, both by this Gospel that sayth, it was a great supper, and by St. Matthew, who relating the same, sayth,he that made it was a King, who use not to make small feast ) may signfy either the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, or the joys of heaven, for both these are of the nature of feasts, and made by the King of kings.
Our holy Mother the Church seemeth to take it here for the Blessed Sacrament, because she appointeth this Parable to be read in the Gospel of this present Sunday, which is within the Octave of the feast of the Blessed Sacrament, which we call Corpus Christi day, accommodating the same thereunto.
Wherefore first we will consider it in this signification.The Blessed Sacrament is aptly termed a supper,because it was instituted as Supper, to wit immediately after the eating of the Paschal lamb,the last supper our Lord made in this life, where Christ ended the Jews eating their paschal lamb, and began ours of eating his sacred body in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar: Who, as St Paul sayth, is our true Paschal Lamb, that, being offered up to his Father upon the cross took away the sins of the world,of which verity their Jews' Paschal Lamb was but a figure.
Also it may be called a Supper,because as our supper is our last meal or comestion,after which we eat more, but sleep and take our natural rest, which is no less delightful and nourishable to our bodies then our food:So after this heavenly comestion we are to feed no more of our former unlawful, and inordinate delights, but as it were sleep and rest in the sweet contemplation thereof, that when we have received it, we may say with the Prophet David,In peace upon the same will I sleep & take my rest, because thou O Lord (to wit, in the Blessed Sacrament) hast put me in singular hope of thy grace and special favor.
This sleep is no less delightful and nourishing to our souls almost then the comestion of the Blessed Sacrament itself, it being the rumination or chewing our Cud upon the same, as some beasts do, which is as pleasant and nourishing unto them,as the food itself, without which those kind of beasts,cannot live and prosper.
And if we will not give ourselves this pleasant and profitable repose and rest, yet let us give it unto him when we have received, and not be so rude or cruel as to expel him, or disquiet him in his rest,which he came so lovingly to take in our souls.
Oh that we were so desirous to rest,and repose in him, as he in us! My delight (saith he,having made myself man,and left my body in the Sacrament of the Altar for the food of men) is to be with the children of men, to wit in frequenting the Sacrament and Sacrifice of the Altar, & not leaving me there all alone.
And in another place he saith:Behold I stand at the door,and knock,if any man let me in ( to wit,by receiving the blessed Sacrament) I will supp with him, and he with me; He sayth not, I will dine with him, but I will supp with him, to signify that he commeth not to be out off from us quickly when we have received him, as oftentimes he is, the more is the pity, but to rest with us,and we with him, in the peace thereof.
A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634