Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What's for dinner?

I struggle with my weight.  I've always been a large person and had a love/hate relationship with food.  I guess the main reason is that, like most mortals, I love the taste of those things which are bad for me.  That is why we try not to keep them in the house.  Then I find myself wandering through the kitchen looking for something to eat and not being able to find something that fits the bill.   I open the pantry, I stare into it, I close it.   I repeat that same procedure with the refrigerator, the freezer, and the cabinets.   Eventually, back to the pantry.  Soon we are picking up the phone and ordering something or going out to some restaurant.  It's not a good thing for my weight when I do that... I don't need a 'buffet' anything.

We take that for granted, don't we?  As we were driving to Ohio this past weekend we got stuck in the traffic for Lollapalooza and the baseball game.  For hours we were literally stopping and going, moving only a few feet every minute.  My daughter and I were being silly and waving at people we didn't know, pretending to be royalty travelling through our kingdom.  I noticed that on one of the subway platforms one of my subjects was digging through the trash for something to eat.  There I was, severely over weight, not realizing how good I really have it.  Here is a man, as important and loved by God as I am, digging through the waste for food.   I, who have plenty to eat, often ignore the buffet before me because it's not good enough.  This man, who digs through the trash for that which I throw away, is happy with anything he can find to eat.

The sad part is we do that with relationships as well.   Society tells us that sex is just something we do.   It tells our kids that masturbation not only feels good, but somehow is healthy for them.   It encourages porn as a way to spice up things.  Then it tells us that marriage is a thing of the past and that relationships were not meant to be permanent or even monogamous.   If it feels good do it!  That is the mantra of many these days. They look at the Church and it's buffet and simply pick and choose, or better yet walk away to another church that can give them that which seems to fill their sensual pleasures in a more pleasing way.  Crumbs.   But as it is written: “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NABRE)

Even more wretched is that we do that with our relationship with God.   We would rather choose to sit in a chair and play a game than to go to Mass.  To spend Friday night at a Baseball game, rather than at Adoration.   We would rather not have the permanence of the Covenant but want all the benefits.  The music isn't good enough, the sermons are too boring, confession makes us feel uncomfortable, and that one guy breaths so loudly that you hear it over the microphone from the Choir.   So we walk away from the pantry and look for a new source to feed us.   We settle for crumbs, crumbs that sometimes are beautiful and fulfilling, but they are just a glimpse of the banquet that God has set for us.   He offers so much more than we can even pretend to understand.   He offers us a glimpse into reality, a reality so far and beyond the things we detect with our senses and into a realm that exists outside of time.   Eating crumbs is good, but why not go to the table and sit with the Master?

His servant and yours,

"He must increase, I must decrease." 

A reflection on the daily Mass readings for Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time: August 3rd 2016.   Jeremiah 31:1-7;  Responsorial from Jeremiah 31; A reading from the Holy Gospel According to Matthew 15:21-28