The Devotion to Christ – He prepares a table before me

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By Brian Cook

We recently celebrated Easter. What an incredible and happy time to be a Christian. And when you work with adults that are converting to Catholicism, it is an especially joyous time! It is the grand and glorious pinnacle moment when they finally get to join in the feast at their Savior’s table.

I’m reminded of the meals shared with Jesus in Scripture.

Remember the Wedding Feast of Cana in John 2? There is so much to unpack in this chapter, but here we are shown that with Jesus present at table, we can never run out of wine and the joy that it brings. Our celebration can be full and unhindered by the cares of daily life. And when those cares seek to overwhelm, we come back to His table, and the celebration can begin again. This is a picture of how His Precious Blood never will fail to wash away our sins and fill us with the “joy of Thy salvation” (Psalm 51:12). Isaiah 55:1 says, “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters….yes, come buy wine and milk without money and without price!”

Recall the feeding of the 5,000 described in John 6, how in the hand of God, the feast never runs out. We are fed until we are overflowingly full. Then, with basket upon basket of leftovers placed before our eyes, we know beyond a shadow of doubt that whenever we hunger again, there will always and forever be more than enough. And this food, His body, is not aimed at good health, but at eternal life (John 6:54). We heed Isaiah 55:2: “Why do you spend money for what is not bread and does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight in abundance!”

Or perhaps Zacchaeus’ table in Luke 19:1-10), wherein Zacchaeus was so overwhelmed and overjoyed to be invited by Christ to table fellowship, which was an enormous honor in his culture. To be welcomed, even sought out, by Jesus, is absolutely amazing for Zacchaeus. After a meal with Christ, Zacchaeus so fully confesses that he ascribes his own penance! After such a full repentance, our Lord acclaimed, “This day salvation has come to this house.” What a picture of the astounding honor we receive with the offer to “repent and believe the Gospel” then come and sit at table with the Lord. It was as transformative for Zacchaeus as it is for us.

Or the table where the sinful woman washes her Savior’s feet in Luke 7:36-50. We all as sinners are welcomed at His table. We bring ourselves and our remorse and are welcomed to repent and partake.

Finally, of course, we have the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist prepared by Jesus our great High Priest on the table that becomes an altar described in Hebrews 14:14-16. This brings us back to the Easter Vigil, where those converting to Christ and His Church finally partake in First Communion. After nine months of hearing the call and commands of Christ, answering by Faith, a Full Confession, an obedient Penance, receiving Baptism for the washing away of sin and receiving Confirmation for the filling of the Holy Spirit, the candidates finally get to come to the Table.

All this is provided by the heart of God and the hand of our beloved parish priest at St. James Catholic Church in Gadsden, Father Jose Chacko, who welcomed all the Catechumens to follow hard after Jesus Christ through the conversion process. Father Jose heard the candidates’ confessions and carefully guided their repentance. Acting in the person of Christ, Father Jose washed the feet of the servants of the church on Holy Thursday. He led us on our sorrowful journey on Good Friday as we knelt, prayed, cried, and walked the Stations of the Cross with our Lord. It is Father Jose who baptized, confirmed and fed those born anew by Christ. And after an extremely tiring week, our joyful priest celebrated the Resurrection of Christ with a full slate of Masses.

Glory to You, Lord Jesus Christ, along a huge “thank you” to Father Jose Chacko. We love you!

Brian Cook is a Cropwell native and a graduate of Pell City High School, Gadsden State Community College and Jacksonville State University. He and his wife Hope have five children. A self-described “on-again-off-again bi-vocational part-time” Protestant minister for almost 20 years, Brian converted to Catholicism in April 2021. They attend Saint James Catholic Church in Gadsden. With no formal training (Acts 4:13), Brian active in the Catechetical training of children and adults. His book “The Devotion to Christ” can be found on Amazon. He is available for speaking and teaching engagements in any parish, church, or group setting. He may be contacted at thedtc@protonmail.com or thedevotiontochrist@gmail.com.

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