Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

If You're Looking for God, Try the Dinner Table

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

If You're Looking for God, Try the Dinner Table

Article excerpt

To share a meat with one you love is to want to know him or her. the evening draws on, trust deepens, which, too, is a glib. A desire is born to be a tiring part of this loved other. Nervousness gives way to a relaxed ease in and because of the presence of the first stirrings of love and intimacy.

Love seeks to remove barriers. Love wishes to be shared and somehow consumed, much like the food and drink we share.

I would imagine that God seems to most of us to be remote, somehow faraway, a super-being accessible through scholarship, prayer, a good life and meditation. The more we are immersed in life, the more remote and desirable becomes this God, the God who will relieve us of the mundane, the ordinary and the tedious.

That, however, may be precisely the wrong way of grasping God's role. I remember reading a review of Edward Schillebeeckx's massive works Jesus and Christ. The reviewer commented on how Schillebeeckx, after such exhaustive research, rested with the recurring sense, stressed in scripture, that Jesus delighted in being with people -- he grew through the kindness and friendship of others. People of his era, people much like you and me, were deeply impressed with the pleasure Jesus took in being with men and women and children. He desired to be with them, to eat and drink with them, to listen and to be a part of their lives.

I am still impressed with that idea. and at times I wonder if I have become too used to it.

Each of us gathers with people and shares food and drink with them. …

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