My dear Covenant Partners and GEM Family
The hours in the Upper Room are the last hours of Jesus before He went to His death on the cross in our stead. Jesus is totally focused on accomplishing His mission on earth. He reveals some of the deepest truths of His Divine Heart, and most importantly, institutes the Eucharist so that He can always be present among us in His death and resurrection. In the Upper Room we are reminded of a sobering reality that Jesus reflected upon several times in His ministry. There will be those who will reject Him. And some of the naysayers will be from His inner circle, in the Upper Room and in the future. Judas Iscariot was one of the Twelve Apostles and knew Jesus as a member of His inner circle. Even after three years, Judas remained unconverted. He betrayed His Master for thirty pieces of silver. After Jesus’ arrest, he felt great remorse, and could not repent unto Jesus. In his despair, he committed suicide. The other disciples too have a long way to go. Peter boasts that he will never betray His Master, prepared even to go to his death for the sake of his Master. Jesus told him it was an empty boast and it turned out to be true. The other disciples were arguing among themselves as to who should be regarded as the greatest among them (Luke 22: 24).
In Jesus, the Upper Room experience is ever-present with us. What Jesus said and did then with His disciples, He continues to do today. Jesus emphasized several necessary dimensions of covenant living for a disciple. He washed the feet of His disciples, identifying Himself as a non-Jewish slave. He was prepared to do anything for us, so great was His love which He demonstrated the following day at Calvary. Being a foot-washer is a badge of honor for the disciple. Jesus outlined the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Jesus instituted the Eucharist. Jesus prayed for us. His whole life was an intercessory prayer on our behalf. His death and resurrection were His Amen to His intercession. Now, as Risen Lord and slain Lamb, Jesus continues His intercession on our behalf. And we pray in and through Him.
A true disciple always lives with the reality that they are flawed and can never take their discipleship for granted. Only Jesus can safeguard our salvation and transformation. A true disciple understands that Jesus is the Vine and we are His branches. Outside of Him we are dead and will be cut off by the Father who is the Vinedresser. In Jesus, we can do all things, and the Father’s intense desire is that we produce much fruit. We pray to Jesus as our Lord and Savior who became our slave so that we might share in God’s righteousness. In our prayer in the spirit of the Upper Room, we encounter the depths of Jesus’ love for us. Through the Eucharistic meal, Jesus brought us into covenant union with Him, and through Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit! Our hearts will always be deeply moved by God becoming Emmanuel through the Eucharist. In our prayer, we encounter the patience and optimism of Jesus even though He was going to His passion and death by crucifixion. Even after three years, His disciples are not on the same page. Jesus is unperturbed, as it is necessary first for Him to suffer and die and be raised from the dead. With His resurrection the world will have changed forever! God bless you! You are in our daily prayers!