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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Acquired taste


Last week I discussed "eating right" spiritually. I think today we can look at this a little bit more by talking about my acquired taste and eventually love for tomatoes. As a kid, tomatoes were good for only two things: spaghetti sauce and pizza. The sight of my dad slicing them up and eating them in front of me was just disgusting.  My parents never tried to force me to eat one, but if they did, it might have started World War III: there's no way I would have gotten anywhere near one! Well, I find it pretty amazing that now one of my favorite foods this time of year is slicing up a fresh tomato and basil from the garden over some toasted bread with olive oil, a simple homemade bruschetta. Oh, it just doesn't get better than that. How does a switch like that happen? Well, I slowly over time acquired a taste for better things. It's took a long time, but I eventually wised-up to the fact that vegetables can be absolutely delicious, and that food is so much greater than just candy, salt, and fat -although a strip of bacon is still really good!

In today's first reading, we hear Wisdom inviting us to a banquet. That character of Wisdom personified is really just an aspect of God Himself. But wisdom is also something that we ourselves can have, we can sort of possess it even if we can't control it or dominate it. So Wisdom, who is both God as well as part of our highest self, is then really Jesus Christ, the logos of God or the Word of God, which Saint John Paul II calls "the human face of God and the divine face of man."

And wisdom (Jesus) makes an invitation to us to join in the banquet. It's important to remember that as this image again proves, God isn't out to get us, to hurt us, to make life difficult. A banquet is a great thing. Now, granted, life is difficult, we do get hurt, and there are other forces house to get us and hold us down – but God, my friends, is all about loving invitation to nourish the deepest desires of our souls.

So, our souls actually want to be fed good wholesome stuff: we don't long for junk food. The spiritual food we want is ultimately Jesus. We went life. We want happiness. We want to know that I life is meaningful, and that we are playing a part in the building up of the kingdom of God.  The only way we are going to get that kind of nourishment is with God, so our hearts must be open.

The invitation that Jesus for the offers us requires us to choose. God doesn't force us. But another important aspect of Jesus's invitation is that it requires us to say no to certain things. If we are going to accept the banquet that Jesus wants to offer us, we have to reject the spiritual junk food that's out there. One concrete way that we can embrace the invitation of wisdom from God, is to read regularly from sacred Scripture (Lectio Divina). Another option is to pray the rosary (Which always includes meditating on the mysteries of Jesus is life). Or we could take a book off of the shelf of our Paris library in the back of church for our own spiritual reading. These are ways that we try to cultivate wisdom we try to acquire a taste for the higher things. We also then have to make time for that by rejecting the junk food that's out there: television, movies, Netflix, video games, and really a lot of the books out there that are just as bad if not worse.

Jesus says to us that we have to feed on him, and then every single Sunday he invites us to the banquet of the Mass to feed us, both in the Eucharist and in the wisdom of sacred Scripture and of the teachings of the church. Do we accept that invitation?  Do we share that invitation to others?

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