The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe
Week XX, Year B
16 August 2009
Proverbs 9:1-6 /// Ephesians 5:15-20 /// John 6:51-58
Maybe I am already old but, I really find it so funny, even corny, these practice in Facebook wherein everyone sends you food and drinks like frappucino, beer, or wine with burgers or pasta. Lately, I have noticed an oversupply of other things being sent around the Republic of FB –vegetables from FarmVille, guns and bulletproof vests in Mafia wars, as well as pets and flowers– all in the name of friendship!
The reason why I “Ignore” them because you know you really can’t drink or eat or have what they are sending you! And yet, many are delighted that at times they get to my nerves when I am invited to send them too, including kiss and hugs and whatever it is which they call “Poke”!
This is not an invitation to be one of my friends in FB which, according to a report that if FB were a country, it would be the third most populous in the world today, next to China and India.
But, as I prayed over today’s Gospel wherein Jesus Christ kept on repeating these past three weeks that “He is the bread from heaven”, I somehow realized why people enjoy offering food and drinks in Facebook: it is always good to give and receive something for and from others, like food and drinks, because what we truly share with them is our very selves. When we host a party or a meal, whether in our own home or in a restaurant, what we really offer our guests is our friendship and intimacy, a strengthening of our bonds and relationships also known as “communion”.
“For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”
Unlike those food and drinks and other things we send in FB, in the Eucharist Jesus is truly offering Himself as food and drink for us not only in this life but even unto our eternal life. Every Eucharist is called a thanksgiving because Jesus Christ, the Son of God who became man for us, offers us with a divine communion, a oneness so real that we can feel and taste with our senses, becoming so realistic as we ponder on our various life experiences when Jesus never left us and gave us life after each failure and sickness.
For most people in this modern age of science and technology, this could be very unbelievable because how could Jesus Christ be in the bread and wine of the Holy Mass? But, may I invite you also to ponder on these questions, on how unbelievably we could go to such heights of ironies and tragedies in our present time:
– How could we believe so much in virtual realities yet doubt, even discard things of faith?
– How could we be so preoccupied with the Internet and everything it offers that is highly impersonal yet we could not accept the realities of real people around us and of those who have gone ahead of us?
– How could we trust so much our keyboards that connect us to endless stretches of wires and machines empty of any life (if ever there’s a person at the other end, it is someone we hardly know at all) yet reject a personal God reaching out to us, giving Himself as food and drink?
A few years before he died, the great Pope John Paul II issued the encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” wherein he emphasized the use of the term “transubstantiation ” to stress the reality in every Eucharistic celebration that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, rejecting modern trends among some priests who prefer to call it as “transignification” for being more of a sign than a reality.
Jesus had to speak in such bold terms, then and even today, because He wants us all to receive Him so that it is His very life and very self who dwells in us. We need not be worried of losing our identity in receiving Jesus Christ wholly; He in fact would bring to fulfillment our very selves if we allow Him to take possession of us. Hence, the First and Second Readings call us to be wise, not to be foolish and be overtaken by this material world because there is more to it than simply pursuing pleasures and comforts. God is the absolute good in life and He is a Person we can have in Christ Jesus in the Eucharist.
Notice how in our time marked by dwindling Church attendance and faith in God, there is always the proportional erosion in our moral values expressed in our utter disregard of the other persons, from corruption in high government places to rampant pornography and violence and disrespect in our very homes.
Recently, our advocate (reporter) at Radio Veritas made a special report about two popular songs laden with obscenities; the first was about a man selling “his big bananas” because they can make sad people happy while the other song is about a man who had found it better to get into a relationship with a gay because a girlfriend is very expensive and dangerous as she could get pregnant. As a result of our news report wherein some bishops lambasted the songs, the banana song had been pulled out from the airwaves. Yet we must ask, how could people sing and dance to such tunes that openly degrade not only others but their very selves?
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of every man and woman in life; to receive Him Body and Blood in the Holy Communion is to be like Him, a food and drink who could fulfill every longing of our being. Now, we can be truly closer with God, with others and with our true selves because Jesus Christ is our daily bread. Not like the food and drinks, or pets and vegetables, nor hugs and kisses we share in Facebook or anywhere else.
A blessed week ahead!
Listen to Radio Veritas (846-AM) and catch me every Tuesday with Ms. Angelique Lazo in “Barangay Simbayanan” from 8am-10am; can be seen via video streaming at www.veritas846. ph
. Thank you.
fr. nicanor f. lalog II
santissima trinidad parish
malolos city 3000