Images of Plenty

Our modern Western attitudes to food are complex and often contradictory. It can be refreshing, therefore, to turn to the scriptures and find, as in today’s Mass readings (Isaiah 25.6–10 and Matt 15.29–37), that what we are looking forward to isn’t just the Beatific Vision but a stupendously good meal as well. The image of feasting may have less impact on those who habitually have more than enough to eat, but most people would like to feel they could eat and drink to their heart’s content in the company of those they love best. Note the words: ‘heart’s content’ and ‘love’. The banquet we are promised is one that will satisfy every yearning because it will mark the fulfilment of our hope and the perfection of all our striving. The coming of our Saviour, Love made visible, is something we experience every time we share in the Eucharist. Let us start preparing now for our Christmas Communion and for the Banquet of Eternity:

Prepare our hearts, Lord,
by the power of your grace.
When Christ comes,
may he find us worthy
to receive from his hand the bread of heaven
at the feast of eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


15 thoughts on “Images of Plenty”

  1. Wonderful! I love good food and drink in the company of those I love. And Iook forward to feasting with them in the banquet the Lord has prepared for us, as we share now the banquet of Holy Comunion.

  2. Thanks for this focus on such an enjoyable image and promise. Beatific vision is so much beyond what we can imagine, but the down to earth image of a really good feast in the company of those we love somehow feels more real and understandable. I found it refreshing to read your post this morning as I will be grappling today with one of the more disturbing images presented in Advent – a winnowing fork!

    • πŸ™‚ I waited for the thought police to tick me off for smiling about the Beatific Vision, but a feast is a much easier idea to grasp, isn’t it? I enjoyed your post on the winnowing-fork, thank you.

  3. ‘Prayer the church’s banquet’ is what came to mind when reading this post. Not sure where that fits in except that I notice that today the Anglican church remembers Nicholas Ferrar and I am sure that his small community, so deeply influential on George Herbert, would know about the heart’s content and eating with those they love.

    • Herbert is one of my favourite poets and, standing in his little church at Bremore, I have sometimes wondered whether, had he grown up with a Catholic rather than Anglican piety, we would ever have had ‘Prayer’ in the form we do. I think it more likely we would have had a poem about the Eucharist as ‘heaven in ordinarie’.

  4. St.Brigid would heartily approve. She said she envisaged Heaven as a great lake of beer with all the faithful drinking it. If I were asked to nominate a favourite saint she’d be well in the running.

  5. I have discovered that Christ is living next door to me. He is disguised as an elderly lady aged 86 years named Audrey.
    Audrey is almost totally housebound due to her physical infirmities but is still very bright mentally and a good conversationalist with a sense of humour who never complains about her situation. She is always cheerful and appreciative of any simple thing done on her behalf.
    Today her carers have arranged for her to go to a local garden centre which is an annual visit before Christmas. She will require the help of two carers and a a special taxi which she calls a ‘Pope mobile’ so that she can remain in her wheelchair throughout. To my knowledge this is only her third outing from her home this year.
    Please pray for Audrey who has a terrible cross to bear and no immediate family she can call upon.
    Thank you for your blog which is always an inspiration

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