Preparing a Longer Table

Certainly it must have been a strange–even unpleasant–exercise to plan our own private last supper. But what matters is what we take away from it: The insights that we might have gained in the process, and the message that the Lord might be telling us.

Our Lord gave his disciples very specific directives on how to organize the Last Supper in the Upper Room. The highlight of the meal was the breaking of the bread, which of course refers to the Eucharist–so that our Lord Jesus may continue to be physically present with us even after his death.

But we can catch a glimpse of a deeper meaning if we examine his guest list.

As the Gospel passage made all too clear, his guests were by no means limited to the friends who would remain loyal to him. His guest list included someone who would betray him that very same night and lead his enemies to him to arrest him.

Also, let’s not forget Peter, another guest invited to the Last Supper, who would deny knowing him not once, but three times.

Come to think of it, almost every single one of his guests that evening would abandon him and would be nowhere near him at the time he would need them most.

All that our Lord already knew beforehand, but just the same, he chose to invite them to this last meal.

“The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci

How does our Lord’s guest list compare with yours?

Jesus’ guest list at the Last Supper shows us what the breaking of bread really means. It means breaking down the walls that keep us from others. It means being inclusive.

We have an old and wise saying: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

On Holy Thursday, our Lord tossed that nugget of wisdom right out the window,
and subverted it by doing the exact opposite:

He fed the mouth that would bite him.

“Love your enemies.”

Hasn’t that, after all, always been one of his toughest teachings? But because it’s pretty abstract, it feels easy to accept it.

But on Holy Thursday, our Lord shows us concretely what it entails—-and just how hard it is!

Can we bring ourselves to invite our enemies to our going-away party?

Here is our Lord’s Holy Thursday invitation to us:

It is a difficult–and soul-stretching–invitation from the Lord. It is something he himself did at the Last Supper and continued to do as he hung on the cross: To forgive and save the very ones who abandoned and persecuted him.

We are invited to do the same, but can we feed our enemies with the bread of our forgiveness?

Breaking bread means stretching our guest list and preparing a longer table so that even those who bite us have a place at our table.

Can you bring yourself to stretch your guest list and to prepare a longer table? For today, can you name at least one such person to welcome to your table?

How do you feel about this soul-stretching Holy Thursday invitation? If you feel moved, please post a response below. You may want to describe the person you think you’re being called to include in your hypothetical last supper and why (don’t name names!) 🙂

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231 replies on “Preparing a Longer Table”

5 days now after Holy Thursday, I have tried to set a longer table (so to speak) and invite the one person I thought I would never invite. I decided to be more understanding and caring, and yes, even praying for this person.

Guided by the wisdom shared in this part of the retreat, I will rewrite my guest list to include people that I did something wrong with.

Even if I already offered an apology before, I will still ask them to join me in the final hours. And I hope that they will continue to be forgiving to the individuals who will be part of their lives.

People who have hurt me deeply – an ex-bf, a close relative, a friend in my community whose betrayal has been very hurtful and to this day, the situation with the friend is still not completely resolved.

This is truly challenging, to be honest. I have struggled with nightmares concerning these people who have hurt me, at different points in my life, so I know the trauma is deep, that is why it surfaces in my subconscious and personal unconscious through my dreams.

Praying for the grace to “feed the hand that bites me”, and to build a longer table.

My classmate in grade school, who bullied me because I was big and tall.

My dad, who told me I would never have a boyfriend because I couldn’t lose weight. Turns out, I was fat because of PCOS.

My Math teacher, who humiliated me and my friend for being the biggest and tallest in our batch. He made us an example of inertia.

My dad and this Math teacher, who humiliated and traumatized me so much I lost my Math skills and feared all subjects with numbers from that time on. Before that, I actually earned medals for Math.

Those who trolled me online and in real life.

I would probably need a separate house for them.

My dad, who professed in so many well-written love letters how much he loved me and my mom, and yet never had the balls to separate officially from the first family, thus hurting both his families. He had all the time in the world to prepare me for the bombshell revelations and skeletons in the closet, he never did. He left with so many lies, truths unsaid, and saddled our family with financial ruin, left me with the unwanted responsibility of being breadwinner who had to pick up the pieces. I never even had the time to grieve.

His side of the family. The relatives who snubbed me during the wake. The priest in one of the masses who took a dig, talking about the primacy of the first wife.

My former officemate who made a crack about anak sa labas, not knowing I am one.

All those co-workers who kept me from progressing at work and bullied me out of my position.

My former bosses and their minions who sabotaged me, made lies about me, harassed me and made me leave the company, after I had worked so hard for them. Ba’t ang dami nyo?!?

That executive who sexually harassed me, and that fellow officer who didn’t stop him.

The one who molested me when I was young.

The ex-neighbors who took advantage of my mom’s goodness of heart.

My mom’s side of the family who all but vanished when they couldn’t borrow or take money from my aunt and mom anymore and didn’t lift a finger or give a centavo to help. The same relatives who are making attempts to reconnect now.

That one condescending, gaslighting, arrogant, mukhang pera doctor with the absolute fail diagnosis and recommendations who I blame for making my mom’s condition worse.

The intent of invitation is gladness. I do not want to have my last meal around those people I HAVE FORGIVEN BUT CONTINUE TO BE CRUEL AND EVIL. I wish I can be divine as our God but I’d go by what Oprah has said… When you forgive somebody, it doesn’t necessarily mean you want to invite them to your table.

Nais kong imbitahan sa hapag-kainan ang mga taong patuloy na pinapanatili sa kanilang mga puso ang pagka-inggit sa galing at kakayahan ng ibang tao, sa halip na pagyamanin ang kanilang talento.

I will invite all the people who hurt me, caused me pain and suffering and all the people I did not know was also hurt and offended by me unknowingly and unintentionally. I want to ask for forgiveness and I want them to live their lives happily to the fullest.

It is extremely difficult to be in a single table with them but I no longer want to add more regrets in my short life and I don’t want to prolong my pain any further in my last meal.

My dad..
A few friends who are close to me..
The people who I have hurt and broken connections with me..

I should invite my Aunt who we have a weird relationship right now, my former colleagues who weren’t very nice to me, my cousins who I have a weird relationship with, friends who I have a weird relationship with, ex guys. It will be very hard to have them around.

This is difficult, but perhaps my stalker ex, backbiting ex-classmates and colleagues, toxic cousins and extended family members

This comes back to the question of who this last supper is for, and for what. I had previously opened up to the idea of expanding the guest list to cover those I am not close to regardless of their personal agendas, but to actively and knowingly inviting people who may have ill intent or feelings towards me seems to also place a burden on other guests to possibly conciliate. There’s a time a place maybe for opening to those ones who have wronged you and you have wronged, and as long as this last supper is long then it is possible to extend the invite to challenging guests without imposing on the peace of other guests.

Somebody who has betrayed me over and over again. It is something I really hard for me to but I’ll do it.

my former mean boss, my scrutinizing and criticizing aunt and uncle who love to compare; my very competitive high school classmate, and a former student who thought I favored another student by giving the latter bonus points.

i don’t have anyone like Judas, or anyone who did anything so deeply hurting to me that i have to forgive,,,but if there was someone, i know i’ll have to pray a lot and take a really deep breath (of forgiveness) to move me to invite the person to my last supper…i know exactly what Jesus would do … he just did it

my reasons for not inviting certain people are so superficial, I am cringing. I don’t like getting bored, or having to indulge in small talk or be with people with bad table manners. I am feeling intellectually and spiritually superior – satan must have felt like this.

A challenging but worthwhile exercise. I thought about it, and I would invite my SIL. When I was in the hospital after struggling after an emergency surgery and near death experience, she said that what happened was karma because I was “bad” to my FIL. I felt that was uncalled for and disappointing since she is a Christian.

To the bullies who made me and my friends feel small and worthless, to former colleagues who made my earlier years at work really difficult, to those who had no faith that I could get better at my job.

it would have been a perfect party if I only invited people I love & like. however, inviting people that have hurt me & and inviting people that I have hurt will definitely send me into a frenzy of emotions. nevertheless, I know that this will break the chains of pride, anger, remorse & self pity which will pave the way for forgiveness & being forgiven. this scenario is surely beautiful yet hard to achieve without God at the center of this plan. I can never do this without His guiding light.

A cousin I was close to but felt betrayed in learning her sentiment towards me. She would be the one I would extend to, in feeling she has her own baggage which may cause her to react differently.

I think I am being reminded,frequently lately, to refrain from thinking ill and wishing ill of persons that make me forget they are also children of God.
Maybe I am also being called to stop mulling on what they did and let go of situations and let God.

2 dormmates of mine who have misinterpreted my comments in the past who I now avoid because I fear being misunderstood again or I might say something that would hurt them even if it has never been my intention to do so. I pray for healing and forgiveness for both parties. I have apologized to them in the past but have distanced myself from them already. I would like to invite them to my last supper because once upon a time both were really dear to me.

I feel like trying to extend a coffee/lunch/dinner invite to any of the people I fell out with is a bit of a hard pass for me right now, given that I had to prune my circle of relationships significantly in the last 6 years for my own peace of mind.

This is a difficult exercise – the guest list extension.

If I were to extend my guest list – it would be to people who have rejected me in the past, those who have lied and manipulated to get their way and those who were unkind to me for reasons I cannot fathom.

I pray for God to enlarge my heart so I can love these people as well. 🙏

Thank you for sharing this insight. This is something fresh to me. I would like to add to my guest list this one guy na nagbudol sa akin sa store before holy week about 10 years ago. I have recently seen his face again about 3 years ago in facebook using the same scheme to other stores. May he be enlightened by our last supper and know about Jesus.

This question is rather hard for me to answer, for I cannot think of an enemy. I may have had hurt feelings in the past, but all were forgiven. Enemy is too strong a word for me to describe people who have hurt me. If there is any one that hurt me the most, it is my husband. Not because he is not a good person because he also gave me the most joy and comforts in life, but because with him I am at my most vulnerable, no walls to shield me, all open and honest. With him I see and realize my weaknesses, as well as my strengths.

I may have to focus on inviting people who regard me as their enemy instead, and ask for their forgiveness. This exercise of knowing who they are would humble me and shed the air of arrogance that usually makes me think that I have done nothing wrong.

The person I would invite would be my husband and his immediate family. My husband chose his family and friends over me and my kids when he left us to be with his family, and his parents and sibling have played a part in keeping him away from me and the kids. It is difficult for me to imagine spending my last meal with them since I would rather spend my last few hours with the people who have always been there for me, even at my lowest, and not the people who I know would backstab me or who couldn’t care less for my welfare. But, I guess, that is the point in “loving your enemies” — to lose or sacrifice one’s self and to love those who are unlovable or are hard to love, or who could not love us. For Jesus, I will try my best to take on the challenge.

The persons I will invite although very hard for me to see her face to face because of our personal conflict and who deeply hurt me.

Just the thought of meeting her makes me shiver and I pray for guidance and strength to see her eyes with mercy and forgiveness.

🙏 for you. I too have difficult family members. I am not on speaking terms with both of them actually and being the eldest I know I should me more responsible and as a Catholic and Christian, I need to be more forgiving and in fact strive more to help or be a role model. I pray for God’s strength, wisdom and compassion to handle the situation.

This stretched table is very difficult… perhaps I will let Jesus do it… I can’t do it yet… I will be polite since Jesus invited her/them but if the hurt gets too much, i will ask Jesus to bring them to the other rooms in the Father’s house… then, i will ask Jesus to give me the grace needed… and the time needed… Thank God for the many rooms in the Father’s house!

Whew! That hit me. I have all these people in my mind that have wronged me one way or the other but have never openly acknowledged them. Lord, forgive me for harboring all these thoughts all these years!

This person is already invited to the party as he is an immediate family member. He, however, is the main cause of our family disfunction. I am sure it is unintentional but this is my biggest struggle in life. I pray for a clear path to healing, patience and for a thankful heart. I pray we work together for our common goals instead of undoing the progress the other has achieved simply because it is not how we would do things, and offer our learning curve to the Lord.

It would be very difficult to invite people who have made insensitive comments about my body weight. I need to work on reconciling this in my heart.

I keep telling myself that I am not affected when people make comments about my weight or how much my body has changed since I became a mom. Some people keep mum about it but I can see it in their facial expressions or head to toe looks that they are thinking that way. In truth it really really affects and hurts me. Their comments/ looks make me feel as if I am worth less, or less valuable as a person, a parent, a wife, a mom, a colleague, etc. But another side of me also always reassures me, THAT THEY COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG. And I know that this is God’s grace working within me. I do my best to work and provide for my family, and I know my self-worth goes above and beyond all their shallow comments and looks. Mommies, irregardless of size, we deserve every good thing in this life! We are doing a great job! 🙂

At first, I thought of inviting only my friends and those who are close to me. However, I also gave space to those who are threatened to me, those who find me too demanding and strict.

You go, Mommy! I feel you when I was a young mother in the early 2000s. I am proud of you, and all you do! Keep that chin up, Mommy! Take care of yourself and keep the faith! God bless & keep you. 🌸🤗🙏🏼

I understand the value of forgiving, the spirit of Jesus’s teaching. BUT honestly, it is still a path I struggle with. I’m still stuck with my guest list for the going away party I don’t know how far to stretch the table yet.
Maybe, another Holy Week, will find me with a truly forgiving heart. Chances are…

I will invite someone who always claims she is my friend but is always jealous of my accomplishments at work.

I would include in my table, family members who have hurt me and tend to take me for granted. Some have behaved badly in significant ways. Most of them have just been, well, neglectful maybe, and self centered (in very human and understandable ways). But I would invite them because, upon reflection, these are the people that somehow, God has put in my life. None of them are evil. All of us are flawed in our own particular ways.
My son once commented that “families are factories of love”; that struck me as funny because truly, in my experience, a lot of heartbreak happens in the context of family life. But our families do teach us what love does not look like, what love looks like, what we hope love might look life. It is where we first learn about love and the mystery of other human beings. Love was so important to Jesus that He showed us how to do it, through his life and in His death. I can imagine that this is what Jesus says too when He invites us to always remember Him — He is also saying, telling us to always always try our best to love each other well.

If I would prepare a longer table, I would invite this person who made my life a bit challenging and difficult but I appreciated that it happened because of that experience I left my job and God opened small opportunities for me and it lead to the answer to my prayers.

I would like to think that i have not made enemies in my lifetime (at least to my knowledge). I have one though that i have “tampo” but i have forgiven him na (although I don’t think he is aware of the hurt he has caused me). Anyway, i pray for him and his happiness. Yes, i will want him to be in my last supper.
If i may add, i would like also to have in my long table, people who have helped me with their services. Even if one maintains that they are just doing their jobs and they got paid for their services, i still treasure them for being on hand when i needed their service, much more if it involved an emergency situation.

Your advice that we should break down the walls that keep us from others and to be inclusive resonates well with me. I am harboring these feelings of anger and hurt over someone who has excluded me quite a few times. For my last supper I thought only of those I care about and who care for me. As for them… I’m still making peace with this. But it’s a good reflection, thank you.

It’s a tough task to make the table longer. Including the people I trusted but hurt me and the people who trusted me but I had hurt them is a sign that I am ready to face my creator. It dawned on me that I must start letting go of I’ll feelings and start mending broken bridges. This is only possible with God’s mercy and love. My prayer is that people whom I had hurt can extend their forgiveness.

I found the concept of “extending the table” super difficult – as in, it left a lump in my throat. Does it mean I need to work on that capacity to be inclusive? I always thought that forgiveness is a hard thing to do, that it always takes time, that it will come when the time is right. At this time, as I reflect on it some more – I feel like I can extend the table but I will likely not look towards the direction where they are seated. That does not feel good, right? I want my last meal to be with the people who mattered to me. I need to dig deeper into this. But at this time, am just so tuck with the feeling that “this extending the table is really going to hurt me bad”

Extending the “long table” for us humans is a hard and tough challenge. But being Christians – a follower of Christ- changed our perspective. I may invite not only those “not friends” but also those who are indiferrent and hard hearted people who messed up big time.

Forgive me Lord but I am not ready to extend my table at the moment to the people who have wounded and hurt me the most.

I have extended my guest list. As I look at it, it seems to be a beautiful chaos. Messy but full of joy.

This is precisely why I found making the guest list challenging. 😁 i guess i will include an ex-friend and an ex guide/mentor.

This extending the table exercise is a plot twist to that fun planning of a going away party 😄 but i like it. ill be bringing this thought with me: feed the mouth that bites you.

People who have hurt me in General. To actually Thank them for doing so even if most of them keep saying they are not at fault or they didn’t know that they have hurt me. To also Say it straight to their faces that I have forgiven them.

If cost won’t be an issue and I can invite anyone, the going away party will be open to all who have been a part of my life maski acquaintance lang. As long as they are willing to take part in it, why not. Welcome silang lahat.

I guess I share the same response with most people here–people who have hurt us in one way or another.

Beyond that, I would also extend the invitation to those who I have hurt in the process. Inviting these people will feel awkward from both ends, for sure. But since it would be my last day, anyway, why not use the time to patch things up, forgive people, and seek forgiveness in turn?

It would definitely be great if they accept the invite. But if it was turned down, perhaps I could feel at peace knowing that I tried to reach out. I would understand why they had to decline and just wish them well in the process.

That’s an amusing perspective I never thought of tbh.

Just when I had mentioned in the previous exercise that thinking of my “guest list” was easy (family, a few colleague-friends) was easy, I had totally forgotten about the possibility of inviting enemies! (or at least those who have hurt me in the past)

Very thought provoking exercise.

I will invite our once close friends but due to a business that we had put up together, the friendship was tainted.

The ones who hurt me the most were the ones I cared for the most as well. I have had them too long in my life that it depleted much of who I am. I am no longer interested in feeding the mouth that has chewed off the hand that for the longest time fed them.

I have no hate. I just don’t have love to give them – anymore.

I can’t think of somebody – an enemy – to invite. I am still thinking of who my enemy is. or does ‘enemy’ also include people I may have hurt or people who I felt have hurt me?

May isa akong naisip sa bawat kategorya: kapitbahay, katrabaho, kamag-anak, pulitiko haha. Ang hirap nilang imbitahan kahit sa isip lang.

I am open to inviting those who have hurt me. I also have to think of the people I have hurt, disappointed, or neglected.

The thought of sharing meal with an enemy makes me feel awkward, more so because socializing is not my cup of tea. Though I admit I feel hurt when rejected, I don’t force myself to somebody who does not like me for whatever reason. I am not the person who destroy the reputation of my so-called enemies. But I just prefer to put some peaceful distance between me and them. Oh Lord, please teach me how to love as you do, especially to the people who reject me. Amen.

In my plan, I didn’t think of any enemies in particular, and even reviewing it, I still can’t find who I don’t want to invite. Even old friends and work mates/groups who have actually maligned me and my work are now friendly again. It is grace at work if you ask God for it. For many years my prayer was to rid myself of the hurts and for clarity of vision for all. God is infinitely good.
To the last questions, I find it a great idea to include and invite everyone who bore me a grudge anytime or made unkind statements in the past, not to spite them, but to show that there is so much more to life than differences in opinions and even beliefs.

Ahh, so this is my unfinished mission pala, Lord! Ang hirap naman po 🙄

There are a few people who have hurt me very deeply, made worse by no remorse or acknowledgement, you know that Lord. So alam din niyo po that when I invite them to my last dinner party, you have to BE THERE or else I won’t make it until dessert!

my ex-husband
my mom’s cousin
one of my good friends (remember I mentioned “makulet”) 😊

A longer table..ok po, i will send out invites para pwede mag-RSVP 🥰

In my extended list, I included the people who have hurt me the most and deeply (3 immediate family members and a priest). It took God’s help for me to forgive and love each one of them through my actions and prayers for their own healing and good. I am grateful that God helps me each time to not only forgive them but also to learn to be patient in my healing (especially learning how to build healthy boundaries which are very important in toxic and life-draining relationships but are seldom or rarely taught/learned in dysfunctional families).

My father who left us when we were kids; who would contact us once in a blue moon; who would talk to us like he never left us; who did not provide for us; who I want to fully forgive, but still can’t.

Thank you for sharing. My father also left me and my 3 siblings when we were still kids. It took years for me to forgive him, but looking back, all the hardships that we went through have only made us siblings stronger together. The breaking of our family unfolded not only blessings but also a deeper purpose. I pray for the grace of forgiveness to be with you, in His perfect time.

My last meal will be a big party with great food and laughter. Whoever wants to come can come. It will be a moment to enjoy life. I hope that in my last party, my family will be ready to accept my departure and see it not as an end but as a new journey for me.

I will invite my brother who has caused me so much pain very recently. I pray that this holy week will help me forgive him and forget the emotional hurt inflicted on me.

I will invite my ex and his family. While I may have chosen to leave the relationship, they have made a significant impact on me.

I’m glad to realize I don’t have many enemies that I have not forgiven. My ex who was verbally abusive, a bully from my high school days who created a negative impact on my personality. I have “forgiven “them . But I don’t really want them in my last party. It’s enough-maybe that I wish them well.
I do have an aunt who for some reason I can’t understand has harbored a grudge to me for decades. I would like to invite her.
This person who has betrayed my mom I don’t know if I will be able to forgive. I don’t know if I will be able to invite her. I think forgiveness can only come with the help of the Holy Spirit. However, how can you forgive if the other party does not acknowledge her wrongdoing?

I would like to extend the table to my relatives who joined other religious sect and to some people whom I find difficult to understand. I hope and pray that the Lord may grant me the grace to love unconditionally and be able to see the face of Jesus in them.

This was a difficult question, as I’m the type of person to tend to not forget the things that are done to me, so I could think of a number. I have to admit that deep in my heart this is still something that I would struggle to do, but I pray for the grace of being able to forgive these people.

I want to extend the table to my brother who has chosen to distance himself from the entire family and clan. I try to always extend an invitation and is always met with unanswered calls and text messages. Sadly, I have lost interest in reaching out. May the Lord grant me the heart to never tire reaching out again and again.

This somehow reminded me of VP Leni’s “Mas radikal ang magmahal.” belief and how we are called to be more patient and to be more willing to listen, especially to those who seem to be hostile especially during house to house campaign, for example.

It took a while to think of who such person might be. I even thought of a presidential candidate I can’t stomach. Sorry, but I cannot. And then I thought of a close friend who ghosted me for reasons I don’t know. If he has it within him to be a part of my last meal, I would welcome him and thank him for the blessing he had been to my life before he disappeared.

My brother-in-law and his wife. I have tried to see them in a good light, but they have done things that have proven otherwise. Sadly, there are such people in the world.

To invite those who have hurt me to my last meal would not be a problem. I understand that people who hurt us often carry their own baggage. If it’s about me, I know I am not perfect and I can easily ask for forgiveness. I also cannot expect to be loved and treated exactly how I need, by imperfect beings. It would be an opportunity to clear my path. I trust that in heaven, all would be, not only forgiven, but truly forgotten.

Ah yeah actually to be honest, I wouldn’t mind. I can think of a few names in my life that have made my life more difficult than it had to be, but for me it is water under the bridge at this point. Especially since I was dying anyway, might as well right? And who knows might be my one last chance to laugh it off with them on how they did me dirty at the time (because I do like to joke around like that).

In my head, it would be more of a question if they would accept my invitation in the first place really. Because to me, its no longer a big issue and can and have been civil with them in that regard and hopefully, if this last supper could be anything, it would be a chance to just reconnect one last time.

Preparing for exits in business has made me realize life needs this more especially during the pandemic. My ex wife, friends I whom I had a falling out with and even “ghosted” because of too much focus on work… Best to leave gracefully with humility as ego and pride have no place in the end.

I want to extend my dining table and break bread with my brother, who I do not have a good relationship with. I pray for him to overcome his demons and focus on how to better his life rather than detest me for my hardwork.

Even before reaching this part of the retreat, I DID include in my guest list a few who’ve hurt and betrayed me along the way as they were once dear to me.

Those who’ve betrayed me for their own ambitions (all once close to me): an ex-colleague, a good friend who considered me her “sis”, a beloved mentee who ditched me as influence/network/success was met

The people who makes my life complicated and disturbs my peace but are the same people that God calls me to love & forgive more; a call for self-emptying and sacrifice

In order to keep my peace of mind..i learn to always forgive those who have wronged me such that when asked to name the person to include in my last supper guest list I cannot list anyone..instead I would like to be able to invite all those whom in one way or the other I have wronged or unjustly misjudged who have ill feelings of me. In my last supper it is a good way to ask for their forgiveness before I perish in this world.

This exercise proved to be uncomfortable but healing as well.. I’ve desired for some time to be reconnected with my college barkada and a couple of close friends whom I have lost touch with when I went to work overseas. I would invite them if I could, as well as a few people who feel disengaged from the Church or a few I know are lonely or needing encouragement. By God’s grace this will come to pass.

The message to me was, Be in the moment because it could be your last. Celebrate life everyday. Choose love. Tell loved ones you love them regularly. Connect with people meaningfully. Forgive and ask forgiveness. Hug your pets. All will be ok. (Edited for clarity from previous post)

I will invite the people who I have always been averse to. People who think differently from me. People who are arrogant and selfish. People who are always thirsty for power.

Thinking about extending the table was difficult. i do not really have “enemies”, people who have clearly betrayed me…but there are many people i feel apathetic to, people i do not care much about I realize there are very few people with whom i have no walls or fences, people i completely trust, just a small circle of family and close friends. Perhaps, i should invite strangers and acquaintances to my table.

This was exactly what I thought when I was doing the exercise! And also those a little bit closer to home – family and friends who support him. Difficult indeed but I believe this is what God is calling us to do.

Nobody has really burned their bridges with me, some people who’ve hurt me were already in my guest list. I would happily expand my list to include the few frenemies in my life, and a long-forgotten betrayer.

I read a couple of sharings here about inviting people they’ve hurt. Ohhh, that’s juicy. Thanks for that! Yes, I would love to have one particular person at my dinner whom I know I’ve treated harshly in the past, and friends I’ve lost touch with.

This one was also a moment of gratitude for me. Because I realized I really have no enemies. So, I said maybe those who have hurt me or I may have any ill feelings for. But then it was mind-stretching because I could only think of a few. And these were very minir grudges that it was not a big deal to invite them to the party.

perhaps if i can invite those people who have hurt me..then i would indeed be prepared for my last supper!! i learned from a homily given by Bishop Ambo that there are 4 stages to forgiveness.. how can one forgive another if there is no acknowledgment from the other of having caused the pain? perhaps, learning to forgive even without contrition & penance is possible only with God-given strength..

Another priest said: “Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.” There are steps to being reconciled so it takes time before you’re reconciled.

My birth family has been broken for years. It remains so because my parents want to deal with it by simply brushing everything under the rug; ergo no acknowledgment of the hurt/pain that caused the family to be so broken. Yes, the forgiveness and all those steps up to reconciliation with the people who hurt you, can only happen with God’s grace.

For my last supper, I guess I could invite my birth family and just be decent with them. I am grateful, after all, for growing up with them. I no longer want to grow old with them since I have my own family to be with and think of. I am honest to admit that while I still love them, I do not particularly like them for what they did. At least for now, this is till where it’s at.

Yes, I will invite people who made my life difficult by their incessant criticisms. I will invite those who took advantage of our generosity and guile. And finally i will invite those who judged me unfairly and took part in bearing false witness.

It was really a soul streching exercise but indeed a heart opening up exercise truly identifying with Our Lord… i will invite the friend who i caught had an affair with my husband decades ago and let her know that what they did “sanctified” me and lead me closer to Our Lord 🙏🏻

Yes there is someone I should include in my list. He is usually not invited to our gatherings as he has different views about family affairs. However, as this is my last meal, I want to reconcile with him or at the very least, accept him as a member of our family.

Hard to think of somebody now. Through time, i can forgive those who have done me wrong.

The ones who have hurt me most are my family members and yet they are the ones who are in my initial guest list. It is true that the ones who can hurt you deeply are the ones you love most. This exercise has thought me that overwhelming love can win over hurts, ingratitude and pride.

A particular someone came into mind as I consider her as someone who raised me but also hurt me and my loved ones deeply. But I think I can still give her a seat since she has done so much and maybe all it would take to heal the wounds is to reach out to her when given the chance.

Having those who have hurt me at the same table with me would be too awkward. I can say hi, or offer them food/drinks but I don’t think I can go beyond that.

There is one person I find so difficult to deal with and accept. Just the thought of inviting her at my last supper made my stomach churn. I guess I can physically go through the motions, but it will take God’s grace and strength for me to do it wholeheartedly with no reluctance or bitterness.

This may be difficult but I pray that the Lord will grant me the wisdom and kind heart to invite those people who have hurt me especially those who betrayed me because in one way or another they made me a stronger/better person.

I need the grace of God to be humble enough to accept my failures and ask forgiveness and be more understanding to the weaknesses of others and embrace their limitations.

” I will invite my sister from the community where we serve together, but I am afraid, she might shout at me as she usually does. “

Yes, Lord, I realize that I’ve been building walls instead of bridges, staying away from people who have hurt me or my family, people who have disappointed me with the choices they have made, people who have resented me for one reason or another, and people who gave little worth for the efforts I’ve taken. These I will include in my table, Lord, if that is what would please you.

It would be difficult for me to invite those people who have hurt me and my family through the years. Moreover, it’s hard to invite people who have abused my kindness and left me when I needed them the most. I have been ignoring these people and I don’t know if I would have the heart to invite them. But even so I could only invite with the help of God’s grace.

It’s not easy. Just a thought of inviting them is difficult enough much more sitting with them on the same table. Only by Gods grace that I can do it

I would invite the teacher who made my life hard and almost failed me because of personal reasons (in my opinion). I was not able to get latin honors on graduation because of this teacher. Even though I think this person is a hypocrite, I would like to invite her and still show kindness to her. How she responds to that is up to her, but through the grace of God, I would consent to her being with me through my last supper. In fact, I would still say thank you to her, because through her, I learned that humility is much more important than riches, honor and pride. It was a humbling experience, and even though it hurts, I still thank the Lord for it. I do not resent my teacher now, but I pray for her well-being and her change of heart.

This has always been the most difficult part of being a good Christian. I’m not sure about inviting my enemies (not that I have many), but definitely people who I may have hurt..

this meant id have to invite friends and relatives whose choice for the coming elections i simply cannot fathom..or maybe the candidate himself..is there something good in him that God is asking me to see? he is still his child after all…

Inviting an enemy or simply a person whom we don’t like is a challenge. a big challenge for me but if this is what the Lord is asking me to do, I would ask for the grace to be able to do this. I believe the Lord sees my desire and the hurt the person was inflicting me before. however, I am willing to invite her, because the Lord says so. grant me the Grace O Lord.

Yes I believe I can stretch my table for that one person. I have thru the years constantly tried to forgive her. But forgetting is difficult. And just when I think I’ve achieved it, the rug is pulled from right under and a new wound inflicted. It really is a painful struggle, one I can only do with God’s grace.

If I were to extend my table, I will invite those who hurt me the most and those who I might have hurt. We will have a circle of forgiveness.

I am not sure if I am ready to invite the person who hurt me, much more have a meal with him.

But I believe that God is calling me to forgive and reach out

After reading the Gospel text, I thought how ironic it was that the disciples wondered who it was who would betray the Lord since most (if not all) of them would do so, Peter (despite his protests) included.

I don’t know if I would be ready to do as Jesus did and share my last meal with those who would or have betrayed me or done others wrong: like a friend who abused my kindness years ago or my boss who has created a climate of fear and distrust in our organization. I don’t think I am that good a Christian. At least, not yet.

But I am willing to listen, Lord, if this be Your message for me this Holy Thursday, to set a longer table and to open my heart.

I have forgiven those who have wronged me one way or another & invitr them over…but i will be open to invite those i have wronged & became distant…Most especially to the one significant person who I have betrayed, in my heart I have asked forgiveness but it was too late to verbalize this & into action because he passed unexpectedly ~ i can only pray that he sees my sorrowful & repentant heart from heaven🙏

Wow, this was difficult. I have simplified my life by cutting people out of it—not through all-out fights, but simply just letting people who have hurt me go. I didn’t think forgiving them would matter anymore, but I guess it does. I don’t have to make them my buddies, but I have to stop thinking of them with rancor.

I’m known for being brutally honest that’s why there’s a number of people I had misunderstandings with. If by chance I have an idea when my last meal is, I’ll make sure to prepare a seat for my enemies on my table. I am a mosaic of every person I’ve met and I’m grateful for who I’ve become because of them. Besides, I don’t want to hold grudges anymore.

Come to think of it, some family members who used and abused me are in my guestlist and they are there because I love them and I have forgiven them. If I have to extend the table, I’d be inviting at least 2 people who caused me so much pain, an ex-lover who betrayed me, and a friend who abandoned me. I had long forgiven them, but never thought of getting along with them again.

just before this pandemic, a month before lockdown, i was diagnosed of renal cel carcinoma. i immediately underwent surgery andvthat was enough to rid my body of cancer. no chemo no radio needed.. what a blessing!!🙏🙏🙏
This plus the pandemic made me closer to God. Masses were just a click on the computer. The pandemic paved acway for me ( us) to be with the LORD every single day. It paved the way to more quite moments and realizations… you only live once!!!
And because of this I started forgiving my best friend who became my best enemy.. it started with text messaging then why not.., i extended to her an invitation to a group dinner party.. not my last supperr! and this was followed by another. and we are looking forward to a monthly/quarterly group dinner parties👏👏🙏🙏💕💕
i kind of initiated these gatherings because we are getting older ( almost all are senior citizens…you never know what will be next this pandemic…) and gathering together is a means ofvthanking the LORD for saving us from the virus.

I would have extended my invitation to the person I had a relationship with, who ended up leaving me for someone else. Even though I’d be mindful of the betrayal, I would still extend nonetheless because of the memory of that friendship.

Knowing and accepting that the people I love will disappoint and hurt me is so hard for me. But I will try and try again and again.
Just as I will try to bravely love and reach out to those who are unfriendly to me

2 friends since elementary days and until just 6 years ago that they treated us (circle of friends) indifferently. Accusing that we are talking badly about them behind their backs, which surprised and baffled us because we had done nothing like that.

Cool twist there.
As budget is not an issue, let my enemies (known and otherwise) and even strangers come to the table. I don’t think that on my last day, I will still hold a grudge. I will probably ask forgiveness for bad things I have done and heartaches I have caused everyone.
Mauna na ako. Remember me with love and forgive me with utmost mercy, if applicable. My parting words will have to change.

My initial guest list includes family and close friends. The challenge to “feed the mouth that bites you” is very difficult. Even among family and friends, there are those that “bite” us, and yes they are in my guest list. But extending that invitation beyond family and friends is more difficult. I can think of one particular person who has betrayed, hurt, and disappointed me and maybe I can start with that person, to reach out to her in spite of and no matter what.

On one hand, I would like to keep the private supper with my nearest and dearest. I don’t have any serious falling out with anyone but I don’t mind stretching the guest list to include those people with whom the bond weakened or got lost along the way, not because of any negativity, but because life just happened.

Thank you for this reflection. It actually got me thinking of all the “enemies” I made in this life (that i know of) and that I would invite them to the “Last Supper” to ask for their forgiveness.

I believe that would bring about a separate peace to the end.

The boy who made my daughter betray me ..bt i will just ignore him..he can sit with us , if had the guts. But i had forgiven him a long time ago, i just dont want to be too close or give him false impressions.

As I was reading, I already realized the participants at the Lord’s table. There were some people who came to mind as I was preparing my list. I realized that despite my problems with the person(s) I was inviting, in my head, I had already forgiven them and wanted to invite them to the meal knowing that they may not even show up. Then there were those people whom I thought about but did not include in my list. I realized that those are the people who do not bring joy and whose presence I don’t care about. My heart is indifferent to them. If I had to invite them, I would be all right with it but they don’t particularly spark joy. I guess it means I have forgiven and I need to stretch out my hand and heart to include them because at one point in my life, they had shared a part of it. My ex-husband is one of those people I thought about.

As far fetched as it may seem, i think i would invite the family of the country’s dictator and at table tell them exactly how i have felt about them all these years and that i truly wish them the negative karma they deserve but at the end of the meal i would tell them that they are forgiven and wish they too will forgive those people who have opposed them all these years and not use their power and might and money to persecute and kill them. I would tell them that even at the moment i am already praying for them for their true conversion as i pray for my conversion as well

Yes, I will invite people who made my life difficult by their incessant criticisms. I will invite those who took advantage of our generosity and guile.

my stepfather who cause my trauma..
my grandmother and mother who abuse me emotionally..

to all of you.. I forgive you all as God forgave you not 7 times but 77 times..

I would not do this on my last supper… will reserve last remaining hours with my family, and cherish this time with them. To me, the stretching of the table should have been done throughout one’s life. Be a peacemaker throughout, and have no regrets at the end.

What a very tough act to follow! I would have 4 people (over to my last supper) who have caused so much pain in the past but with whom I no longer feel anger nor hate. Matagal ko na silang ipinasa-Diyos.

I was made to realize that I should also invite someone who I feel persecuted me — to show him I was judged wrongly- also I thank him for serving me at one point.

My Last Supper
To be held ina penthouse overlooking the beach as the beach is where I have always felt at peace. My long table will include my family, my frenemy who is good but talks non-stop with an annoying voice which sounds like a machine gun; I’ve been avoiding her for fear I die from stress frequently hearing her voice. My 2 ex friends who I’ve wronged because I thought they’d wronged me. My angels in heaven who have bade me goodbye before they went to heaven. I’ll have space for them as I will soon be joining them.
So grateful for this thought as I will always have this last supper in my mind until I actually have my last supper & will be adding more people to my list as time goes on.

It would be hard, but at the end of the day, we are still family. Besides, we are gathered not for my personal interest, but for someone dear to us both. So yes, I could prepare a longer table to welcome everyone.

And even if it was for me, I would still invite this person since he has been good to me despite our differences in beliefs.

This lesson would be applicable to the election season too. That we should not drive away our enemies, but rather “feed” them and show them kindness despite the differences. Driving people away, in certain instances, isn’t always the key in resolving issues.

I am thankful that with regards to my enemies (those who envied me and tried to pull me down professionally; in-laws who felt insecure around me), after years of prayer and “psychoanalysis”, I finally understood where they were coming from in comparison to my own background and learned how to live peacefully with them. So yeah, they’re welcome to the party as well.

Initially I didn’t think of them at my going away getogether. As expectedly, those biological relatives are the actual ones who offended my parents, me and my siblings.
They’re really well off than us, yet they chose to take more of the properties handed down to the kin, even through sly and evil ways.
I always thought they will never bring all their material wealth to their tombs so why be so greedy?

It’s hard, but in the spirit of reconciliation, I will stretch the table for them. Forgive them. Entrust to God their conversion and pray that they mend their ways.
I pray to God to give me the strength and courage and faith to do so.

My family. I think I already had the chance to forgive and make friends with my enemies. They are already part of my past and at the end of my life I know my family will be there for me.

Initially I thought there’s really no one I’m at odds with… then I remembered the second family of my father and my aunt and cousins who welcomed them with open arms, pushing us (the legal family) away. I can invite them to my table. What to say to them? I don’t know yet.

I feel fortunate that there is not much that comes to mind for people who have deeply hurt me. What I thought of in this reflection however is accepting that the people I love, like my family, have at times unknowingly hurt me with their words and actions. Yet all the same, I would like to invite them as I originally planned because they are the people who have stuck with me as well despite all the things I’ve done to them. I would like to ask for their forgiveness and mercy. To be kinder and more loving to the people they meet.

Another set of people I would like to invite are the ones I’ve done wrong to. I’m not perfect myself and I pray that I’d be able to be forgiven with the things I’ve done. The lies and hurt I’ve caused them.

In my original guest list, the are 4 people who have hurt me deeply despite the many times i have extended help. It is painful and sad how people fail to realize how their actions affect others, especially those who have been so kind to them.

I am sure i too have faults when it comes to difficult relationships. And so on a last meal, i hope I could also ask for forgiveness.

My father says that he does not love me because I am not what he wants me to be. I put him on my guest list but I still do not know when I will actually invite him to break bread with me at my table. Him being on my list is a first step that shows I have the desire to desire to forgive him.

I have no enemies (or maybe I am just unaware) but I would invite an ex who i decided i cannot be friends with. It might be a good opportunity to forgive each other and ourselves.

The Religious Sisters who brought pain to my family but led me to encounter deeply and truly – the COMPASSIONATE GOD who loves me UNCONDITIONALLY.

My ex who broked my heart a long time ago.

To invite him i think for a closure and saying a final goodbye.

My initial guest list was my family & loved ones. And spiritually, I wanted to have my dad & father-in-law who passed away 24 years & 5 years ago respectively to be there in spirit. Stretching the table to invite those who hurt and caused me pain in the past, is the mark of a true Christian. Who am I not to forgive, when Jesus outstretched His arms to those He knew betrayed and denied Him.

Search my heart, O Lord, and give me the grace and courage to go beyond my comfort zone.

I’ve forgiven and forgotten those who have hurt me. I feel it’s best to leave it at that and not see them again on my last day on earth.

“Search me , O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting .” -Psalm 139:23-24
My attention was drawn to this verse this morning. I am asking God to reveal to me any sin I have in me. BITTERNESS, though I do not think of it but deep inside I have some tampo or bitterness towards some people. I pray god to take away my bitterness/tampo towards these people. Make my heart happy and clean.
I will extend my table to these people I have some bitterness.
Heal me Jesus!

Putting together my guest list, I intentionally left out the person who had betrayed and hurt me the most. We don’t communicate and he’s not in my life anymore, I reasoned. But this retreat really is stretching and asking me to invite him still at my hypothetical party. Haha.

I realized he had been a significant part of my life, one whose company I enjoyed while it lasted, and someone contributed greatly (positive and negative) to who I am today.

Tsaka invite lang naman. Nasa sa kanya kung gusto niyang tumugon at magpunta sa party ko. Haha. At least I had the initiative of inviting him. Bahala na si Lord 😛 😛 😛 But I will be friendly and welcoming to him if he does come, set aside na all bitterness and anger. That’s in the past and I’ve been healing 🙂

I feel moved to reach out to someone who has shown a lot of negativity and toxicity towards me and my family quite recently. Initially, my gut reaction was to simply shun her and ignore what she said. It would be so easy to say “that’s her problem, not mine.” But i will continue to pray over it for the rest of the day and ask God to guide me in reaching out to her. I pray that this will result in healing for all of us.

Fanatics of a certain presidential candidate, I just cant understand them. My boss who left scars on my heart because of her harsh words and the way she is biased towards other employees. My officemate na mayabang huhu. My father and all the times he felt absent even when he’s always with us.

Lord, grant me the grace to heal, to forgive, to love. I beg You to stretch my heart.

I am the betrayer, the friend, the one who was found sleeping after the meal. I am glad to be invited.

To be honest, my table would be long enough. Friends by my side and enemies on the far far end of the table. Kidding aside, they all contributed to who I am today, the good, bad and ugly me. Everyone will be invited. Hoping everyone I invite could come and celebrate.

If this will be my last meal, I truly hope that I see all my guests feasting with God. This time around, recalling all the special moments that I chose to ignore.

I had a falling out with some friends. To this day, I’m unsure about how it happened. We were so close then all of a sudden, we got ghosted and one declared she went on “hiatus.” In this time of pandemic, when we realize that life is short and in our age (50’s) where we should just treasure the ones with us, friends decide to detach. Made me think of how toxic the rest of us probably were but then, I realized I don’t have a problem and maybe they’re going thru some rough patches in life and would rather be alone. I thought at first I don’t want them around but if I were to prepare a longer table, will include them. I’ll ask for forgiveness for whatever I’ve done that made them drift away and try to make amends before I finally go.

There are people who have hurt me but I don’t hold grudges. I sincerely wish them happiness. I wouldn’t mind inviting them at my table.

Despite the generosity and kindness of my parents and my siblings towards my sister-in-law, she has been saying harsh verbal words towards them. I just cannot fathom how she would act that way especially to family, who’s been nothing but so welcoming to her. I admit it’s quite a struggle to understand and forgive her. I really pray to the Lord that He give me the grace to accept her on my table.

The pandemic too forced our family to face our issues. Tough and, yes, soul stretching as what we used to just sweep under the rug all surfaced with no place for us to run away to because of the lockdown 😬 I realize now it’s such a grace

“… forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”

Dear Lord, You have shown us the way. Give us the strength and the serenity to forgive all.

I’ve always believed in the passage that says people come into your life for a reason, season and a lifetime. I think that’s how I “manage” people in my life and not leave grudges towards anyone. I treasure people who are constant in my present life and have no regrets about people who have just passed by.

My brother who betrayed his family a long time ago. But also his family who couldn’t filed a case against him despite his being faithful to provide financially. My employer, a religious congregation, who hasn’t fully accepted our team despite our 22 years of faithful service.

This part was very striking for me as I have “enemies” who broke my heart and caused emotional damage to me. From this, I went to a series of counselling to pick myself up and handle my emotions better. I can say that I am feeling better these days and my counsellor did a great job in helping me realize my worth because I felt that the opinions of my enemies about me are right. However, there are times when I revert back to crying and feeling worthless. But thankfully, my counsellor was able to help me understand how to fight these thoughts. Like Jesus, there are also people who caused emotional damage to me. But Jesus was able to forgive them right away and invite them to the celebration. I pray that Jesus will give me the strength to completely forgive my enemies so that I can live in peace and harmony with our Lord.

I am still a bit hesitant, tbh, but I will include in the guest list the people who I consider hard to forgive or at least the ones who can make me feel uncomfortable — because I love my comforts — but I’m also willing to be stretched if that is what God wants.

It’s hard to determine who would be my “enemies”. Sometimes they could be your closest relatives and friends who may form toxic relationships with you. Or they could be the ones who have opposing political candidates from whom you want to vote for. This requires discernment and God’s grace. After reflection, a list of these “enemies” will be the ones I will additionally invite.

My sister in law because she is difficult to love. She isn’t a bad person or anything but her personality makes it difficult to be with her at length. She’s very negative, likes to insert herself without asking, asks questions but doesn’t listen (she likes to finish our answers so I know she isn’t really listening), and does not treat the help staff so well.

I can’t think of anyone, for those who have hurt me, I have asked God to help me forgive them. And He did. So all are invited. It’s up to them if they will attend.

my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I should be more grateful for their caring presence in my life. my father, in spite of his unforgiveable sin, hoping the testimony of my life will soften his heart towards repentance.

At this time in my life, I can’t think of any person I need to forgive.
I thank the Lord for the gift of forgiveness which He gave me when
I joined the Charismatic movement in 1989. Will need to delve deeper
on this..as I may have forgotten. If this were the case, I will certainly invite that special person(s) to my last supper.

My husband’s cousin who is very toxic and rude. His aura and presence is so negative that I the mere thought of him annoys me. It will really take a lot out of me to be able to invite him in my last supper.

Cant think of anyone who has hurt or offended me that much that I would not want to see him/her in my own ‘last supper’. I thank God for that.

yes. I will try. There is a specific person who have transgressed me but maybe he is not aware of it. I will invite him bahala na si Lord.

The person who made false rumors on me and the person who lied and betrayed me at work. The people who abused me physically and enotuonally.

My toxic sister in law who finds fault with family members, not realising that her behaviour has given her bitterness and loneliness. My hope is that she’ll be touched by my invitation 🙏🙏

I know God is probably asking me to invite this “friend” of mine, but i am still not ready to include her in my guest list. She is supporting a diff presidential candidate frm my female candidate– & when i questioned her decision, she simply stopped communicating with me since last year, not even replying to me when i reached out to her by greeting her last Christmas. Do not know if she still wants to be friends with me anymore so i am not really sure if i should invite her

I find it at the moment difficult and inconceivable to invite back to table those who don’t want to be part of it any longer for whatever reason. The thought of extending the invitation and being rejected again is just painful.

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