Dinner Discussion

 

The Most Memorable Meal!

 

Preparing for Easter Sunday forces us to look at the real meaning of the celebration.  It all begins with a Sacred Meal that will occur on the night Jesus was betrayed.  He will say those powerful words that unfortunately many Catholic Christians may take for granted,

“Take this all of you and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you! Do this in Memory of Me.  Take this all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood.  The blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in memory of me.”

Archbishop Lori (left) is welcomed by his predecessor, Most Rev. Edwin Cardinal O'Brien.

(My nephew at his First Holy Communion. He knows this is the most important meal his uncle can give him.)

It is no doubt that the power of food can satisfy the body but also the mind.  Consider the smell of mom or dad’s cooking and how it can bring you back to happy times in your life around the dinner table.  Food can certainly inspire great memories!

Archbishop Lori (left) is welcomed by his predecessor, Most Rev. Edwin Cardinal O'Brien.

(I can’t make “pancit” – a Filipino Noodle Dish – without thinking of my mom and dad.)

Bread and wine does that for me. EVERY culture has a “version” of this starch and drink.  When we eat and drink it, do we think of Jesus and the Last Supper?  Generally not, unless, of course, you pray Grace before meals!

We will stay connected with these beautifully simple foods!  It is my hope that every time a server brings your dinner rolls, whenever you make your kids a sandwich, volunteer to put out bread for the homeless, pour a glass of wine, teach your kids responsible drinking, or offer cheers at your next dinner party, you also say a prayer and think of Jesus.

Archbishop Lori (left) is welcomed by his predecessor, Most Rev. Edwin Cardinal O'Brien.

(Bread and Wine)

The simple elements of bread and wine, so common in Jewish tradition, become the perfect vehicle for Jesus to live in His disciples’ memory.  And because Jesus has the power to transubstantiate, i.e., change the substance of something, He has the power to live and exist in the elements of the consecrated bread and wine.  We call that the Real Presence!

Group of young men in a discernment camp praying before the Blessed Sacrament - the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

(Group of young men in a discernment camp praying before the Blessed Sacrament – the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.)

Interestingly, Jesus takes the most common food and drink and elevates it to something supernatural, incredible, and for some, unfortunately, unbelievable. Why is it so hard to believe that Jesus can make bread and wine into something more than it really is?  In a more sacramental, intense way, it’s similar to thinking about grandma when you bite into a buttery, crusted apple pie.

No doubt, we need to consider  again and again  what Jesus meant when He said the words, “This is my body, this is my blood!  Eat, Drink in memory of me.”

Archbishop Lori (left) is welcomed by his predecessor, Most Rev. Edwin Cardinal O'Brien.

(Jesus breaks bread during the Sacred Last Supper)

In preparation for this Easter Sunday, talk to your family about what this Sacred Meal is all about.  Remind your family, like with the Jewish Passover, of the meaning of the Sacred Meal – the Bread and Wine offered at Mass.  The REAL Easter meal isn’t baked ham, colored eggs, Easter chocolates, or lamb – although I love all of those things!  I even have a great recipe featured in my new show, “Savoring Our Faith,” and in this article in the Chicago Tribune!

Grilled lamb!

(Grilled Lamb!)

The Sacred Meal, in memory of Christ, is more profound and yet so simple.  Bread and Wine – His Body and Blood – given up for you!  Take, eat, and drink in Memory of Him!

Happy preparations for this upcoming Easter celebration!

(11th Station of the Cross: Jesus is nailed to the cross.)

(11th Station of the Cross: Jesus is nailed to the cross.)

Father in Heaven, teach us how to prepare for the Sacred Meal.  May it ever be on our hearts, minds, and lips in a way that brings dignity to this feast for the soul.  May our new members of the Church experience the sweetness of the Communion they celebrate with You and with all of Your Children, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

How will you prepare for Easter – spiritually?  How will you prepare for Easter – in a culinary way?  What is your most memorable meal, and whom do you think about when you eat it?  Your comments help us stay focused on our mission, and let us know you care.  Post your comments HERE.

What's New

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  The Napa Valley Virtuous Vacation and Retreat has been postponed until 2013.

With the announcement of the New Archbishop of Baltimore, Fr. Leo has decided to participate with the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Pilgrimage to Rome to celebrate the investiture of the Pallium for Archbishop William Lori, the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore.  Corporate Travel will provide more information about the trip next year to all of those who registered for this year’s trip.  I sincerely apologize for having to reschedule this trip, but it’s not every day that we get a new Archbishop – that is, a new boss!

Archbishop Lori (left) is welcomed by his predecessor, Most Rev. Edwin Cardinal O'Brien.

(Archbishop Lori (left) is welcomed by his predecessor, Most Rev. Edwin Cardinal O’Brien.)

Check out the Chicago Tribune article above for some thoughts and recipes about the Lamb during this Easter Season.

I was also featured in an article with The Phillipine Daily Inquirer, so check it out at http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/41807/holy-cow-food-faith-and-fr-leo.

Inquirer.net

And be sure to watch this week’s episode in which I prepare that same lamb recipe on “Savoring the Faith” on EWTN this Sunday at 8:30pm EST.

And we just wrapped the photography for “Spicing Up Married Life” and let me tell you, it looks delicious and fantastic! We can’t wait to share new recipes and inspirations with you later this year. It will definitely be worth the wait!

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Posted in Dinner Discussion, Easter, Grace Before Meals, Holiday, Lent, Prayers, Recipe-Meats, Savoring Our Faith, Spicing Up Married Life | 3 Comments

3 Responses to “Dinner Discussion: The Most Memorable Meal!”

  • I love the picture of Jesus breaking the bread. I also like the 11th Station of the Cross statue. Great angle btw. Where was the church may I ask?
    I absolutely agree with you about the notion that if Jesus has the power to resurrect, what gives in thinking that He is not truly present in Bread and Wine as His Body and Blood in Holy Communion. Our Mormons brothers and sisters think it’s just a remembrance act. Others outright reject His Presence…See, this is what bothers me greatly when Christians in generally doubt this; I can understand if non-believers or atheists reject it, but my gosh, if you are a Christian, and you convince your heart that you believe in Jesus and you pray to Him, why can’t you believe that He has the power to be present in the Eucharist? Do you doubt because you have too much pride in your conviction that you are correct in thinking that He can’t possibly be your food and drink? Hmm

    Posted by Loren T. on April 5th, 2012 at 8:39 am.
  • i love your articles..
    but i love baby lambs and sheep and it is healthier to eat fish.. just please dont show cooked lamb. I know they ate it in the Bible but it does not change how i feel… HAPPY EASTER FATHER.

    Doug

    Posted by Fr. Leo on April 5th, 2012 at 9:07 am.
  • Thank you, Fr. Leo, for your beautiful meditation on the sacred Easter Meal. God bless you! I found your suggestion to think of, and to thank Jesus, whenever we encounter bread and wine in our culinary and daily tasks, a very helpful way to put our faith into practice. Also, to thank Jesus when we are surrounded at a special meal by family and friends. Happy Easter to you!

    Posted by Melissa on April 5th, 2012 at 3:47 pm.

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