Eating

I was having a snack - bread dipped in olive oil because we'd run out of butter - when the words of the New Testament came to me. I'm not much a person for religion, but these echoes stick around from one's childhood. So this is what I remembered: Jesus, at the last supper said "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me." (Matthew 26.23)

I always thought that this was odd, because wouldn't it immediately single out one person? But then the disciples all start asking if it means them, so it can't mean that. so what does it mean? That leaders are always betrayed by someone in their inner circle? That's not really news. At the time all the men ate their food from the same big bowl placed before them. And that might be a clue.

Or perhaps, I thought, it means something else. Perhaps it means that we all betray the Jesus message of love and kindness and compassion, and we do it even with those who are close to us, eating from the same bowl, because we are ordinary, selfish and fearful. We betray the Jesus message every day when we fail to accept the poor and the destitute.

That felt true.