Sr. Phyllis Jaszkowiak
August 19, 2018
We are invited to a great feast! “Wisdom has spread her table” and she calls us to “come eat of her food and drink her wine”, so that we may “advance in the way of understanding”. There are a few requisites: “whoever is simple turn in here, to those who lack understanding come eat of the food and drink of the wine. Forsake foolishness that you may live”.
Jesus, in the gospel today, also invites us to true Wisdom through the eating of his body and drinking of his blood. He invites us to become one with him and one another. “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me and I in them”. We are invited to this great feast where we grow in understanding and then in Wisdom, and through Jesus we grow into the human person we were created to be.
We need this food and drink more than ever in our country and world, today. We have used sound bites and tweets on which to make decisions. To make good, moral decisions, we need to discern what is good information, ponder it to attain true knowledge, contemplate this knowledge, and pray until we gain true Wisdom.
We do not do this alone. Holy Wisdom and Jesus always invite a crowd, so that we can be in Communion with one another. The Eucharist, Communion, is coming together in unity, communion, compassion, and solidarity with each other in Christ.
I have been reading some of Dorothy Day’s thoughts on Communion, and she says: “Communion, is being with each other in peace and love for at least this one hour. For this hour we can forget that we may have argued with someone, may have told them they were wrong about something and we were right, may have wished our politicians would act for the people not for the money, or told our children to grow up or stop being a baby.
“No, for this hour we can be in Communion with one another, with our family; we are conscious of a Christian solidarity… We are united with Christ who is head of the Body… Christ is the only one who can pray right, and we are praying with him… Then, too, we are united with each other, and we benefit by all the merits and grace of each other. We lift each other up. Two are better than one, for if one falls, the other lifts up the fallen one.”
Sam Sawyer, SJ, of America magazine, poses the question: “Would Jesus eat with Sarah Sanders?” His answer: “The way Jesus used table fellowship in the Gospels was morally transformative – but by inclusion, not by exclusion. These meals were signs of hope, not only regarding God’s kingdom but also regarding the kinds of persons who might participate in it.”
St. Cyril of Alexandria says: “We are made one body in Christ, because we are nourished by one flesh. As Christ is indivisible, we are all one in Christ.”
Sr. Barbara Einloth, from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, (LCWR) says: “Living from a place of communion, where we recognize the value of our authentic and inescapable connections with others, redirects our energies and imaginations. It invests them in building bridges between and among us. It generates appreciation for ‘the others’ and the gifts they bring to the enterprise of life…. Communion with others is possible and worth the effort.”
And Jesus says: “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me and I in them.”
We are Christ’s body in our world and time today. We are the ones who carry Jesus’ message of love to those closest to us, and to our world. It is the one commandment Jesus gave us: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Let us eagerly come to this great feast each Sunday. Let us accept the invitation of Holy Wisdom and Jesus, and grow in understanding, which can lead to true wisdom. Let us forge our connections with each other, build up community, and infuse our world with the love of Christ. As St. Paul says, Let us “be filled with the Spirit”, the Spirit of God’s love in and through Christ.
Dorothy Day, A RADICAL LOVE: WISDOM FROM DOROTHY DAY, edited by Patricia Mitchell. The Word Among Us Press, 2000. Pages 43-44.
Sam Sawyer, SJ, AMERICA MAGAZINE July 23, 2018. Page 54.
BECOMING ONE IN LOVE, Essay by Barbara Einloth, SC. Publication of Leadership Conference of Women Religious, 2018. Page 38.