The gospel today is of course Eucharistic in its intent.
While the story happened before the last supper, it became part of the Gospel after the last supper and for the early Christians it was an allusion to the last supper. It connected the ordinary food that God serves us at our regular meals, the extraordinary food Jesus served at the multiplication of the loaves, and the supernatural food of the Eucharist.
The point is that there is a continuity between a family supper and the Eucharist. Both refer to one another. Both tell us something about each other. The Eucharist invades our home and sanctifiies our regular meals. And our regular meals illumine the Eucharist as a family and community feast.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Remember the two little kids who (as they would later tell the story) almost drowned in the storm on the lake? After their father had brought them ashore, what did he do? Well, of course, he gave them something to eat. Now their father was not much of a cook and their mother had gone shopping with their big sister. So he didnt know quite what to give them to eat. What would you like to eat?, he asked them. Ice cream, said the little boy. Chocolate ice cream said the little girl. With chocolate sauce, the little boy insisted. And whipped cream the little girl added. And raspberries, the little boy finished their litany of wants.
Well, the father wasnt even very good at making chocolate ice cream sundaes with raspberries and chocolate sauce and whipped cream. But his little kids wanted it and they had just recovered from at terrible scare so he did his best. And do you know what else he did? WELL, he cut a banana down the middle for each of them and emptied the whipped cream can and called it all a banana split. And the kids love every bite of it.
And you know why the daddy made the banana splits for them (and they didnt even know what a banana split was!)? Sure you know why! He was their daddy and he loved them.
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The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
In Memory of Father Andrew M. Greeley
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