Thursday, October 22, 2009


I am participating in the North American Forum on the Catechumenate’s 3-day workshop, hosted here at Our Savior in our newly-refurbished Jennings Hall. A discussion question we just had:
“When you moved to a new place, what made you feel welcome/not welcome?”

We had special “sharing-partners” for this (and for other) questions. What is the bottom line? When we were either taken out to a restaurant or invited into someone’s home to share a meal, we felt very welcomed. And so there you have it: food/drink wins again.

There is a sense of ‘communion’ in a shared meal that Jesus understood. It’s why He ate with Pharisees, with tax collectors & prostitutes, with those who were down and out. He made them feel welcome—He made them feel like they belonged. From the earliest times of His public ministry, then, Jesus was laying the groundwork for the theology both of ‘communion’ and of the ‘Mystical Body.’

Meals are the essence of celebrations and of remembrances. It might be a baptism or a confirmation, it might be a wedding or a funeral, it might be an ordination or a graduation—food and drink are a part of what ‘we have to do.’ We eat while remembering the past, while celebrating the present, while anticipating the future. It’s more than the simple fact that our bodies require fuel to survive—our souls require the sharing. There is probably no other action that can be shared by friends that is so incarnational. A delivery pizza shared is better than a 4-course meal eaten alone…

I suspect that football’s sole justification for existence is the enabling of tailgate parties.

Sharing a box of buttered popcorn legitimates going to the movies.

OK, I’m pushing it! But for how many of us would our “Top Ten Memories” have a majority of them dealing with food and drink? I know mine would. And I believe Jesus’ would, too. That’s why when He instituted the Eucharist He said, “When you do this, do it in remembrance of Me” (not ‘if,’ but ‘when’).

Music is “a whole ‘nother story,” as they say. We sang today a bit of a spiritual, “Over My Head, I Hear Music In The Air.” If you will type the title of this song into your browser you’ll find (#2 in the search listing) Kathleen Battle singing it. Give yourselves a treat. I’ll write about music and communion a little later.

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