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Community passover meal in East Africa

C eventMonday, 26 September 2022

As a family, the Moshi Town community celebrated the Passover meal which marked the beginning of the Easter Triduum; the commemoration of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All the sisters were involved in the preparation of the meal; the bitter herbs, salt water, roasted lamb, unleavened bread, the candle and wine. This showed the unity, oneness and communion among the sisters.

It’s a time of going back to our beginnings, the founding mysteries of our faith. Jesus as a Jew, kept the tradition and transformed it at the Last Supper with his disciples. Jesus, the sacrificial lamb focuses on his body and blood. He took the bread and gave it a new meaning, “This is my body”, took the wine and said, “This is my blood………. (Mathew 26:26-27).

As a community, it was a moment of allowing ourselves to be fed, to trust and open our hearts to receive. The words said for each item had its own awakening and recalling in us; a meditative prayer. For example, over the wine it was said, “There is the deepest art in the creation of wine. Choice of the right soil, skill in dressing the vine, judgement of the right time to harvest, craft of transforming grapes into wine”. We need not take things for granted, but appreciate, take care, surrender our pride and acknowledge that all is a gift from God. We need to pay a little more attention to notice what is around us; people, creation, experiences and even feelings. This may lead us to live the grace of the present moment more fully.

The bread was taken, broken and shared among ourselves which was a sign of bond and fellowship. To us, it meant getting involved in the lives of others, love each other and take care of one another. A time of pondering God’s gift of unconditional and unifying love. We are all invited to dare to do the same by leaving our comfort zones and reach the needy. God desires us to live together in harmony and ensure that every one’s needs are met.

Our suffering brothers and sisters in the countries of Ukraine and Russia, were very present in our prayer as the candle was lit. The candle light to shine out across the land and bring radiance of light to all who lack freedom, to bless all without homes, so that happiness and peace may ever live in us all. The salt water reminded us of the tears of the people who are captives. It was a moment of deep prayer for the persecuted and the oppressed, a reality of our present day news.

As Religious of the Assumption, the Eucharist is the meal that marks the transition from slavery of sin to the glorious freedom of the children of God. It gives us the strength and courage to face each other in a new way in our day to day living. In our daily moments of adoration in our chapels all over the world, we bring all human experiences before the Lord of the Universe.

 

By Sr. Nancy Nyawira