The Last Breakfast

Written by John Rehg : March 13, 2008

“Is Jesus here yet?” Simon Peter asked.

“Not yet, but he should be arriving shortly. We sent for him,” Matthew said.

There were four apostles in the room: Simon Peter, Matthew, James the Just and Philip. A large table sat in the center, and cushions and mats were spread around the table on the floor.

“Who’s bringing the wine?” Simon Peter asked.

“The wine’s over in the corner on the table,” Philip said.

“Did anyone think to bake any bread?” Simon Peter asked. He looked around to see if anyone was paying attention to him.

“Mary dropped some off,” Philip said. “She said she had some laundry to do and would come back later.”

Judas Iscariot and Simon the Caananite walked in.

“Judas Iscariot, did you bring the chariot?” Simon Peter asked.

“Very funny, Big Si,” Judas said. He called Simon Peter ‘Big Si’ and Simon the Canaanite ‘Little Si,’ in order to differentiate them. Also because it bugged Simon Peter to be called that, as he was still struggling some with getting his weight down.

“Just call me ‘Peter,’ Judas,” Simon Peter said.

“Oh, so you’re the Rock? Sounds like some kind of wrestling moniker. Are you thinking of giving up this line of work and going into the ring?” Judas asked.

“Hey, Jesus called me that. I didn’t make it up!” Peter said.

“Yeah, but I think he’s getting tired of you always asking for the keys to the Kingdom,” Simon the Caananite said. They all laughed, except for Peter.

Jesus, brothers James and John, Andrew, Thaddeus and Bartholomew walked in.

“Jesus is here,” James said.

“And I’m on his right side,” John said.

“Guys, quit fighting. We’re just here to eat some breakfast,” Jesus said.

James and John softened their looks at each other and smiled.

“Okay, who’s missing?” Peter asked.

Jesus started counting heads.

“Lord?” Peter said.

“Everyone is here except Thomas,” Jesus said.

“Why’d you have to count?” Peter asked.

“Simon Peter, there’s a time and place for everything. It’s not necessary to work miracles that have no meaning. Now, let’s gather ’round and have a meal. Thomas will get here when he does. I don’t believe we need to wait for him.”

They all sat down. Philip brought over the bread and wine.

“Philip, aren’t you going to eat?” Jesus asked.

“Well, Lord, I’m not really that hungry,” Philip said.

“What?” Simon Peter said. “You’ve already eaten this morning?”

Philip looked down and rearranged his robe.

“Well,” Philip said, “I did have a small snack.”

“Then maybe you shouldn’t have anything to eat,” Peter said.

“Peter, Peter,” Jesus said. “When did you last eat?”

“Lord, My God, I haven’t had anything since last night. I think anyone who’s already eaten this morning shouldn’t eat with us,” Peter said.

“That seems rather childish, don’t you think?” Jesus asked.

Philip sat down quietly.

“Philip, how long ago was your snack?” Bartholomew asked.

“I don’t know, Bart. It was after sun up.”

“What are you getting at?” Jesus asked.

Bartholomew looked around at everyone.

“Maybe if it has been a while, then it would be okay. Maybe if we said, ‘if you haven’t eaten within the last two hours, or since sunrise, then it would be okay to eat with us.’”

“Bart, why all the rules? All of you, haven’t you been listening to me? I suppose I even have to tell you how to eat and drink? Which hand takes the bread? Come on!”

“I have, Lord!” Thomas said. He came walking in confidently. “I doubt you’d really care about the time. Am I right?”

Thomas grabbed a cushion and sat down.

“What, just wine and bread? What kind of breakfast is this?” Thomas asked.

“You know we’re almost out of cash,” Judas said. “We’ll have to eat light for a couple of days.”

“Thomas, Peter, all of you. I want you to do this in memory of me.”

“Do what?” Matthew asked.

“Break bread. This is my body,” Jesus said. He raised a piece of bread up in front of him for all to see.

“Whoa, Lord! What? That’s a piece of bread,” Judas said.

“No, Judas, it is not. By raising this up, I have changed it from bread into my body. And I will raise the cup, and change the wine into my blood.”

Andrew put his cup down and looked into it. The others looked at Jesus in disbelief.

“I want you to do these things to remember me,” Jesus said.

“You’re leaving?” John asked. “Can you give me the keys first?”

“Lord, we broke bread last night. Do we need to again today?” James asked.

“You broke bread last night?” Thomas asked.

“Yeah, we did. You weren’t there. So, I’m thinking, why do we need to again this morning? I mean, didn’t last night count?” James asked.

“What time last night?” Thomas asked.

“Does it matter?” James asked.

“Well, I’d like to know when you guys are getting together without me,” Thomas said.

Andrew looked up.

“Where were you last night, Thomas?” Andrew asked.

“What’s it matter to you?” Thomas said.

“You always seem to miss our evening meals, that’s all.” Andrew said.

“He was with a woman,” Judas said.

“So? I saw you going into the temple. What was that about?” Thomas asked.

Simon Peter stood up.

“It sounds like you both sinned,” Peter said.

“Yeah, so maybe you shouldn’t eat this morning either,” Matthew said.

“You should confess your sins first,” Thaddeus said.

“Guys, guys!” Jesus said. “Why all the bickering? Why can’t we just enjoy a meal together?”

Those standing sat back down. A woman appeared in the doorway.

“My Lord,” she said. She knelt down in the room.

“Give her a blessing, Jesus,” Peter said.

“Come here, woman, and share some bread with us,” Jesus said.

“What?!” Peter said.

The woman stood and hesitated.

“Woman, my body and blood are to be shared by all,” Jesus said.

She looked at him strangely, then quickly grabbed a piece of bread and ran out of the room.

“See? You give them a handout and where are the thanks?” Peter asked.

“Peter!” Jesus said. “Do not limit those who want to be with me. Why put up all these barriers? Do not underestimate how sharing in my body and blood can change you, or anyone.”

Bartholomew dipped some bread into his wine. He kept his eyes low.

“I want you to remember me, to everyone,” Jesus said. “This table is open to all.”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said.

Author Bio:: John Rehg is a writer, a programmer (that’s where the money comes from), a poet and a non-disillusionist. (That means I don’t get disillusioned by all the crap that goes on today in God’s name, or not.)
He writes weekly reflections for several Ecumenical Catholic churches around the country. This was not one of them.

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5 Responses to “The Last Breakfast”

  1. M. R. Wilson on March 13th, 2008 11:39 am

    Brilliant! A very thought-provoking and creative treatment/take-off of the Last Supper narrative.

    Let’s see more of his work.

  2. Beyond Words on March 14th, 2008 7:37 am

    Great writing. I love your bio and I consider myself a non-disillusionist, too. Just never had a name for it.

    I’ve often wondered if the women were really absent from the Last Supper. After all, a Seder would have been a “family” meal.

    This is not a criticism, just a comment for you guys to raise your awareness. I’m simply weary of the “Mary baked the bread and went off to do the laundry” treatment.

    Think of about the implications of this passage: Luke 8: 1 “After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.”

  3. Jason on March 14th, 2008 8:33 am

    fantastic piece man…..

  4. John Rehg on March 18th, 2008 10:35 am

    To Beyond Words,
    I agree that women are unfairly left out of the picture. I’m sure it’s intentional in most cases. I left them out as a statement to that, actually. From several sources I’ve read lately, and several thoughts from people like Crossan, I believe women were instrumental in Jesus’s ministry, had once been priests or priest-like in their duties, and were merely pushed down from the male-dominated society once Jesus was gone.

    Thanks to all of you for the comments.

  5. Beyond Words on March 18th, 2008 12:14 pm

    Ah, thanks for clarifying that. :)

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