Readings (Year B):
Reflection: Come to the table
As a young boy, I vividly recall how my family gathered each night to share dinner. My sister and I often laughed, cried, argued, and were reprimanded by our parents during dinner. In fact, our family life unfolded at the kitchen table, which was the heart and soul of our home. Sunday dinner was the high point of the week, as my parents invited neighbors and friends to join us, all considered family as we sat at the table to share a bowl of pasta.
I recognize that much has changed in our modern life since my boyhood days in Brooklyn. It seems that family meals have become another causality of modern life, with busy activities replacing the ability of families to come together and share a meal. We may have gained much as modern life has progressed. I suspect that we have lost much as well.
If there are any hidden graces caused by the pandemic we have endured, perhaps one such grace is our deep desire to share our life with those whom we love in personal ways. If we endured isolation and quarantine, who did not have an aching heart that wanted simply to laugh, cry, or hug our loved ones? The pandemic vividly reminded me of our genuine human desire to share life together as a family.
In today’s reading from the Gospel of Mark, we hear that the disciples were uncertain as to where they were to prepare the Passover meal. They were equally unaware of the events that would prepare them to become fearless apostles of the risen Lord. Having been fed at the Last Supper, witness to the resurrection, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, they were prepared to go out in mission and bring the good news of salvation in Christ to the entire world.
As we celebrate the solemnity of Corpus Christi and some churches around the country begin fully to reopen, we have an opportunity to recommit ourselves to our larger family of faith with hope of gathering in-person once again at the table of the Lord in Mass.
The holy sacrifice of the Mass is the sacramental celebration in which the paschal mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection becomes present to us through grace. Our participation in Mass invites us into the mystery of our salvation in Jesus Christ. By receiving Christ’s body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist, our minds are enlightened, our hearts are strengthened, and like the apostles we are renewed in spirit to go out into the world as missionary disciples of the Lord.
There is an invitation for everyone who will listen. And a seat waiting to be filled by the gift of your presence. In this moment of grace, let us take the opportunity to recommit ourselves to active participation in the Body of Christ. For it is at the table of the Lord that our ecclesial family is strengthened and we receive the grace to witness to Christ.