FATHER FRANK’S LOG: 5th – 12th NOVEMBER
It has been said by Scripture Scholars that in St. Luke’s Gospel Jesus always seems to be going to a meal, at a meal, coming back from a meal, or telling stories about meals, and that has certainly been true this past week when the weekday Gospels for just about every day were about meals. Of course, in the Gospels meals are to do with much more than just food, they are about fellowship, friendship, forgiveness, reconciliation, conversion and love.
I was thinking about the meals I’ve shared in myself, just during this past week. Last Saturday I collected my younger brother and we went to a surprise party being thrown for our sister-in-law’s 70th birthday; this despite the fact that for the past 6 months she has been telling her husband, our Hugh, and all her family that she didn’t want any kind of party at all, and that especially she didn’t want a surprise party. The celebration was being held in my niece’s house, and alongside all the adults there were her six grandchildren and all her grand-nieces and grand-nephews. There were kids running around everywhere and the noise was deafening, but, somehow, they were quietened down for Janet’s arrival, only to reach new decibels when she walked in the door. Janet took it in her stride and, if she was annoyed, she didn’t show it. We then went on to enjoy some beautiful food and, when we could hear ourselves over the kids, very enjoyable conversation; catching-up, telling stories, sharing memories, strengthening family ties, and generally having a good time.
On Sunday I thought I wouldn’t eat very much at all, as I was still feeling a bit stuffed from the night before. After celebrating the 12 o’clock Mass I went back to Bishopbriggs for a bit of a rest before coming back in again for the evening Mass. In the course of the afternoon I caught some very evocative aromas coming from the kitchen as Brother Antony was putting together a lovely stew, and Father Gareth was producing his signature dish, chocolate truffles – most of which he eats himself. So, when we came back from Mass later on we sat down and enjoyed more good food, conversation and laughter, winding down after a busy day, and strengthening our Passionist community bonds.
On Tuesday Father Gareth, Brother Antony and myself, took up an invitation from one of their former lecturers at Heythrop College in London, who is now the new parish priest at St. Aloysius, Father Michael Holman. We walked into town and joined Father Michael and the Jesuit community for lunch, along with the two Spiritans from St. Columba’s, Father Ambrose and Father Dominic; and Father Paul Gargaro from St. Patrick’s in Anderston. Together we are meant to form a cluster of parishes in the Archdiocese. Once again we enjoyed good food and conversation, and explored some ways that we could support each other in the cluster, and also reach out to others, especially to the young people in our parishes, as we have been trying to do here in St. Mungo’s with our Passionist Young Team, and with Brother Antony’s developing chaplaincy ministry in the City of Glasgow College; Strathclyde University and Caledonian University. Once again, around the table, we strengthened ties and created new friendships in the Lord.
Three meals in four days, all very different, but, as with the meals in the Gospel, they were to do with much more than just food, and without a doubt, Christ was the unseen guest at the table on each occasion. Every table can be an altar. Every meal can be a supper at Emmaus.
They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity - all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people.
Acts of the Apostles 2:26-27