Every Meal Creates a Memory

June 6, 2021

We are a society that loves to eat.  We are a society that loves to enjoy food.  Food networks offer us food competitions that explore creativity.  Scheduling creates time-sensitive situations that surround the meal.  We either have to move fast or we can enjoy a long meal and enjoy the conversation more than the food pairings.  Food preparation is paramount.  I love to cook.  I learned as a Boy Scout how on an open fire, what you cook is what you eat.  I learned that those who overcooked ate burnt food and those who undercooked things got sick.  I learned how to try to stay in the middle and trust me, I would never admit to others if the food I cooked was bad or good.   I just ate it because I was hungry and it was all I had.

In this pandemic, I have learned more about cooking through shows, recipes and food preparation.  It has been a time when most of us ate more meals at home than at restaurants.  It has been a time when we explored new options and tried new things.  I know at times my meal prep was based on what was in the refrigerator that was closest to an expiration date.  At other times it was based on all the ingredients I had in my kitchen.  Memories are created in the kitchen and this last year allowed us to create new memories.

Today we come to the Lord’s Table to realize the most secret ingredient that makes this Sacred Meal sacred.  Jesus, at the Last Supper, takes an already sacred meal that holds the covenant of God and makes it new.  He says in Mark’s translation “Take it, this is my body” and “This is my blood of the covenant”.  He adds a new ingredient to the recipe, Himself.  This is the Passover of the Lord; it is sacred and holy.  He enters Himself as the ingredient and makes it His own.  It is a powerful realization that this is like no other meal; the sacred and divine become real.  He adds Himself.  This covenant, this meal is now actually Him.

Every time we gather for Eucharist this meal is to create a new and sacred memory.  I remember great meals shared with my family.  I remember the meal celebrating my ordination.  I remember the first Thanksgiving when it was announced my brother and sister-in-law were expecting their first child.  I remember the night my nephew told my mom he and his wife were naming their first child after her.  I also remember when fights broke out at the table.  Every time we gather around a table there is the potential of creating a memory.  At this table, the memory is sacred and divine.  Let us make incredible memories with the Son of God.

Father John Ouper