Friday, April 22, 2011


Last night at the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper (there are two Masses on Holy Thursday - the Chrism Mass in the morning, at which I believe the oils are blessed for the coming year; I've never actually been, as I'm more likely free in the evening and the Mass of the Lord's Supper is the beginning of the Easter Triduum, so I'm biased in favor of that one), the First Reading was from Exodus - God's instructions to the Israelites on how the Passover should be celebrated. There are specific instructions about the food to be prepared, including:
If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
and shall share in the lamb
in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
I love lamb, but I've never prepared an entire year-old male lamb, so I don't know how many it would feed. Definitely more than two; probably more than six? And of course one must consider that the Israelites may well have lived with several generations in one household.

But the divine instructions clearly understand that not everyone has the same size family, yet all are to participate in the feast; and for those with tiny families, even what are truly family matters are properly shared in common with other little families in the same boat. It made me think of the many two-person families I know who share one another's joys and sorrows, lift one another up in prayer, and know the most intimate details of one another's lives. For the people of God, large families are a blessing; and those not so blessed join together in fulfilling their roles in the community.

Have a blessed Triduum, everyone.


  1. We're preparing lamb for one of our Easter dinners (and definitely not a whole one!). That part of the reading made my ears perk up as well since my little family of two (plus my father-in-law) will be joining my best friend's family of five. I guess spiritually so many families of two will be joining together this Easter as well!

  2. Are you saying I have to share our lamb with you and DH? Hahaha! Dammit, the infertiles can't even get their own lamb??!!


    Actually to cut the sarcasm, this is a really beautiful reflection, and I love how you made that connection.

  3. We're doing a leg of lamb :). It should feed 4 people easily with lots of leftovers (lamb curry...yummmmmm).
    I like the idea of never having to celebrate a holiday by yourselves...and always have others surrounding you who can join in your joys and sorrows.

  4. I never thought of this reading this way. Thanks for the reflection!

  5. I love this. I spent years and years and years and years at the tables of OTHER families because our family was not big enough to warrant having our "own lamb." It still isn't but I see in what you are saying that God knows this and has a plan in place. So beautiful. So like Him!