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.”
(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!
(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.
(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.)
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.”
(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!
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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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