The icon of the Mystical Supper portrays Christ and the Apostles seated around a table. The respective gazes and positions of the figures portray the story to the viewer. Jesus reveals that He has been betrayed. Christ Himself meets the eyes of the disciples that are directed toward Him. Other disciples are bewildered about the meaning of the words of the Savior: "Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke."
We also have the institution of the Holy Eucharist (the Divine Liturgy) during the Mystical Supper. The icon depicts the sanctified bread - the Body of Christ - as already broken and distributed to the Apostles. The cup of the sanctified wine - the Blood of Christ - on the table, awaiting passage to them, so that in the words from the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, all may be united who become partakers of the one Bread and Cup in the communion of the Holy Spirit."
Once again, we learn a valuable lesson in STEWARDSHIP. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ becomes the sacrifice through the offering of bread and wine. Today, the faithful people of God bring forth the bread and wine as an offering to the Lord. The offering is not only personal, but communal, as everyone attending the Divine Liturgy is called to be united in Christ.
We are united by the Holy Eucharist with one another and with all the saints of the Church Triumphant. It is at this moment that we realize the purpose of the Church. As the people of God, the Body of Christ, we become mystically what God intended us to be: united to Him in faith and love, and through Him, to one another. It is in love and faith and worship that we are truly a member of the Church!
Once we understand this we can more clearly see how a local parish lives up to its true task. In this way the parish becomes the most genuine expression of the Church. When its activity and life center on the heart of the matter, true STEWARDSHIP, is expressed in faith, love, and worship. This is the ideal that each parish, and each Orthodox Christian strives to accomplish.
See: Matthew 26:17-35; Luke 22:1-23
To learn more, visit the Department of Stewardship.