Eating together

2012 May-June various -tiny 074What grace there is in eating together!  After months in D.C. we finally reached out and invited a couple over for dinner.  We told stories, laughed, reminisced, and ate.  It was a sharing far beyond the food.  We shared ourselves.

I’m sure that was the grace that Jesus shared with his disciples the night before his death.  He shared himself.  Having given them everything they would need for the journey – he then gave them the gift of himself – in a shared meal.  I’m sure that meal was complete with storytelling, laughter, and remembering when.

The challenge for us, after such a meal, is remembering the life and love we have been given in the nourishment that was shared.  The food goes through us and nourishes our bodies, but the storytelling and laughter, the remembering and the feelings of love and acceptance stay with us and becomes a part of us forever.

I think it was St. Augustine who said: “When we eat real food it becomes part of us.  When we eat spiritual food, we become part of it.”  And so, no meal shared together becomes insignificant.  It is grace and growth and nourishment for our deepening relationship with others and with God.

Jesus knew that.  In a final meal with his friends he left them with tangible nourishment, yes, but also with intangibles.  Those intangibles of love and laughter, memories and challenge, and an indelible part of himself were key elements of that meal as well.  Then he asked each of them to incorporate these elements into themselves so that they could become one with him and with each other.

Holy Thursday olg 4-21-11 200Every Eucharist since has invited us to do the same.  It nourishes us, yes, but it invites us to become more.  That more is to become part of the Giver of Life and Love, and not only to become “a part” but to follow his example and to do as he did – offering that life and love to others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.