The peace of the Last Supper

In an extract from the book, Finding Peace with Sr Stan, comedian Tommy Tiernan reflects on the power of the Last Supper.

There’ll be peace enough when you die. Life maybe is too overwhelming, too immersive and challenging to ever be peaceful. The Christian adventure is sometimes presented
as a journey.
From sinner to saint at its most extreme but perhaps more ordinarily from the Garden of Eden to…I don’t know, somewhere paradisal like back to the Garden of Eden. The
journey to where you are, I suppose.
And journeys involve effort and movement, through ‘hollow lands and hilly lands’, through countless winters and springs, peoples and places. All the time, moving.
And while there may be moments of peace, an afternoon, a week, it’s not something that happens too often and we shouldn’t think of its absence as a fault. In the same way
that acute stress isn’t a constant, peace isn’t there all the time either.
Any attempt to define life is always frustrating because the
experience of being alive is always larger than language. This is why we love stories so much. A story can hint or point or testify to something without trying to classify it. And a good story will raise more questions
than it answers. The one that I have in mind at the moment is Christ at The Last Supper.
That Thursday evening was the beginning of the chaos. They were being hunted, they would never sit like this again. The unity of the group was about to be shattered, their leader, the head of the family about to be murdered, betrayed by one of them. And in the midst of
all this he turns to them and says: ‘I leave you peace, my peace I give you.’ What did he mean?
We’re free from all trouble in dreamless sleep. Like we were before we were conceived. And death may well be the same, although it’s hardly what you would call an ‘experience’. Every night when we sink below dreaming we get peace.
A few hours of it. We register nothing, we’re conscious of nothing. But
as soon as we open our eyes we plunge again into the overwhelming, topsy-turvy world of the senses. Let us try and fully participate in that while we have the chance.
-Tommy Tiernan is a comedian, actor, writer and presenter.

Leave a comment

Subscribe to The Synodal Times weekly newsletter


Become a Member

Ireland’s only synodal publication is available for under €2.50 a month.

Join today to access all the latest analysis from the ongoing Irish Synod.

Members also receive a FREE eBook of The Synodal Pathway.

€25 per annum