A regular scene in the police drama, “Blue Bloods,” finds the entire family sitting around the dining table enjoying a family Sunday dinner. In his cookbook, “See you on Sunday,” Sam Sifton, the food editor of the New York Times, dedicated the book to the simple act of gathering around a table with loved ones and eating together on a regular enough basis that people know and can depend on the meal happening. Sifton talks about how the fellowship at the table creates “life satisfaction,” a term social scientists use to capture a person’s overall happiness and well-being. In Sifton’s words, "This satisfaction doesn't come from the first meal, or the fifth or the twentieth, but from the actual effort itself, from the accrual of experience in cooking the meal and sharing it.”
The beating heart of our faith is the sacrament of the Eucharist, a chance to eat and drink at God’s table. In doing this we are fortified by the divine substance of God’s love, especially when we partake on a regular basis. Today’s Gospel is a reminder, much like Sifton’s cookbook, of the power of participating in the feast God has set forth for us. Jesus is our spiritual food and all of us are welcome at the table. And the more we partake in the nourishment that God’s grace and love provides the more satisfied we will become.
As we work through our day and week, we will continue to take a seat at the table God has set for us. Let’s also pray that the Church will find a place at the banquet for those who might have differing viewpoints or are sad and lonely. Let’s recognize that Jesus’s birth, death, and resurrection are a gift that should be shared on a large platter. Let’s keep accruing the sustenance that comes from a rich relationship with God.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator