Sunday Within The Octaves Of Corpus Christi Day Which Is Accounted The Second Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Luc.14.v.16 Monday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
The Last Supper (detail)
GOSPEL Luke 14:16-24
At 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 supper as called a great supper,and is indeed greater then any words can express,only I will a little shadow it out with this supposition following: If there should be one morsel of meat which should contain in it the taste and operation of all manner of meats that are in the world, & that every man that eateth thereof should feel those tastes that most delight his palate, & that this one morsel should be sufficient in quantity, as well as in quality, to serve all the world,must we not needs say that this were a great banquet?
Such was that Manna that God rained upon the Jews in the desert, restraining it to one quantity ,or measure to every household, yet with this property, that if the company were more,it should suffice,if fewer,it should but suffice.
This was but a shadow or figure of our heavenly Manna of the Blessed Sacrament,which God by the consecration of his Priests raineth upon us from heaven,every day, in the desert of this world, which hath in it all manner of spiritual taste and delight, that any soul can desire ( be he affected how he will) and giveth it nourishment accordingly: That I say of the Jews Manna, was but a figure or shadow of ours, and if that could not be expressed by any words, as indeed it could not, but the people by way of admiration called it Manna, which signifieth in their language, What is this? or what an admirable food is this? much less can the sweetness of our heavenly Manna of the Blessed Sacrament, be expressed with words, but only to admire in our hearts, that which we feel in our souls, or may feel if we will prepare ourselves duly thereunto; otherwise it will be unto us as that Manna of the Jews was, which unto the good had all manner of delicate tastes they could desire; unto the bad it had no such taste, but rather the contrary.
In so much that they murmured against God, and his servant Moses saying, We are weary of this light and unsavory meat, our souls do even loath it. It is great also and unspeakable: great in regard of him that is contained therein, for what can be greater then Christ whom we receive in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, from whom, in whom, and by whom, as St Paul sayth, all things, to wit, are that which they are. This feast of the Blessed Sacrament is great also,in regard of the love of the giver,which maketh the gift so much the greater,by how much greater the love of the giver is: The love of the giver is infinite, therefore the gift is so.
Let us not therefore excuse ourselves from coming to the most sweet and sovereign feast of the Blessed Sacrament as often as it fit,with those ungrateful wretches in the Parable aforesaid, neither for farm, nor oxen, nor wife, nor any other worldly respect, but come unto it as often as the good times and festival days of the Church do invite us, with joy and than fullness for so great a benefit,and love of God,who is so desirous we should come unto it, that he will be angry with us, if we refuse it,as he was with those wretches in the parable aforesaid,which was a figure of this.