Part 4 of a 4-part series leading up to Holy Thursday. Each day 3 disciples present at the Last Supper are highlighted. It is partially inspired by the Unity teaching of the Twelve Powers. Part 1 sets the context and Jesus speaks to Peter, Andrew and James. Part 2 is John, Phillip and Bartholomew. Part 3 is Thomas, Matthew and James son of Alphaeus.
Jesus speaks to Simon
Like John, I smile a Cheshire grin when I look at you Simon, and even if you’re not around, and someone mentions your name, a chuckle emerges from within me. You’re like the “problem” child who can’t sit still, and yet who could get annoyed over your fierce expression of the zeal of Spirit? Sometimes the intensity is indeed overpowering, and yet I admit, I love your fiery passion for life. Never have I met someone with a greater capacity for diving into the day knowing full well what is rightfully theirs to accomplish!
You are in many ways so unlike your brothers at this table when expressing your enthusiasm and devotion for God and the laws of life. Who can hold a candle to you when it comes to carrying us to the mountaintops of spiritual principles so that we might each awaken the vital force of Spirit? My answer is no one.
You have gifted me with an immeasurable awakening to the fires that burn behind the words of Truth we use when talking with people, when responding to each others needs… These fires have motivated us into action – action that is no different than the winds, tides and storms that move the universe. You are the quintessential force for good which moves humanity, urging us always to spring forward to accomplish what seems like miracles, but for you is just another day! I marvel at how you make it seem so easy. The thought of not being around you to spur me on is unimaginable. You are the the glory of all creation. Before I leave this world Simon, I want you to know this is who you have been for me, and the world is better for it.
Jesus speaks to Thaddeus
My gentle, humble friend, Thaddeus, ever faithful to what is true, good and beautiful. I don’t know how you became so adept at navigating this world free from limitations. When you are near me, your presence affirms that I have the power to let go of the old so that the new may emerge. I’m not sure you realize what a healer you are. There is no haughtiness or arrogance in you, you simply recognize when someone needs to surrender to the inner knowing that is their God nature.
I remember one day we had been walking for many hours, and you noticed I had slowed under the weight of the pack I was carrying. You gently and silently took my sack, smiled at me and slowed your pace to match mine. In that moment, I was reminded that this journey in life is not a solitary one. We all need people to remind us there is a way free from the burdens when we go astray, when life is heavy, when the body is weary and the mind is laden with troubles.
Because of you, I have been able to more quickly recognize when I am carrying more than is mine. Once I realize what I am doing, then at any time I can set down what is burdensome. Thoughts, things, feelings and beliefs all need my attention so I can know what is really an expression of Truth, and what can be released. My life, and the lives of so many others are freer, lighter and more meaningful because of you. When I have told people to live life more abundantly, I was thinking of you. Before I leave this world Thaddeus, I want you to know this is who you have been for me, and the world is better for it.
Jesus speaks to Judas
Judas, you somehow manage to bring out the best and worst in those around you. I know that may sound like a criticism, so please hear me when I say it is the exact opposite. You are generally misunderstood, and that saddens me because I know you want nothing more than to be seen, understood, and forgiven when you act in ways that aren’t expressing your true nature. Your presence invokes in others their own power to express the eternal activity of God – which is life itself.
Similar to what I told John, that is a scary idea for some people, it reminds us of the great responsibility we have for the life we are living. It invites us to acknowledge what a privilege it is to be alive, and that as long as we are breathing, we are our brother’s keeper. We belong to each other, and therefore my life depends on your life, and vice versa. In fact, you have shown me that all life on earth – and earth itself – depends on each one of us. You wake people up to this idea, and push them into action, and that can be disconcerting and unsettling. I know I have felt this way a few times, but I cannot deny the urgent and necessary presence of your life in mine.
Most of us don’t want to be that responsible each day, and yet we were created for these times – you remind us that we are indeed equipped. I am forever changed because of your ability to express the activity of God with such intensity and commitment. Sometimes it is overwhelming for you, I know that, and you retreat, closing off your heart. You hold your breath and become small, believing you’re not capable, and deny all that you know to be true. It is those moments of denying when you do things you regret. Then you carry overwhelming shame. When this happens, remember to start breathing again, believing in that pattern of life within you that is “possessed by God,” and then your life will flow freely once again. Before I leave this world Judas, I want you to know this is who you have been for me, and the world is better for it.
My dear 12… I have loved you all from the beginning, and there is nothing you can do to alter that. If you feel any shame or guilt right now, put it down, it stifles your life, putting a choke hold on that eternal activity of God that you each uniquely embody. As I have humbly lived my life, falling down and getting up, you have taught me over and over to align my own heartbeat with the rhythm of the universe, which allows us to make the invisible, visible, over and over again.
I celebrate the thrill of life, the engaging, affirmative impulse of God you have each gifted me. I know you will continue to bring to this world what it so desperately needs in your own unique ways. We are infinite possibilities shining brightly, lighting the way for the world. We are the restoration of our original goodness. You are God with us.
I’d like to think that each disciple also represents someone in my own life who demonstrates similar qualities. Who is Peter in my world, or Matthew, or Simon? We don’t navigate this world singularly, so who are the 12 that make up my own “disciples?” Who walks this journey with me time and time again through my own crucifixions and resurrections?
The Twelve Powers are core abilities within each of us that we are using whether we know it or not. We consciously use them to handle every life situation so we can be the best we can be. Each of our Twelve Powers has a focused use and purpose – we use them together, in concert, to master the art of living. They are faith, strength, wisdom, love, power, imagination, understanding, will, order, zeal, release and life.