Our Senses Know What is Sacred
Ah, fresh baked bread. Remember the smell of that kitchen? The rounded loaves, crisp and golden. Two handfuls torn open to the white, fluffy softness that melted the butter instantly. Mouth watering goodness.
Ooh, crystal glasses of deep red bounty set before each place. Remember that first sip? Tangy tartness or oaken boldness, swirled from lip to tongue to teeth to tonsils, dancing and twirling. A heart’s deep thanks.
The blessed sacrament: a meal we know. So like the one shared in Grandma’s kitchen and at Papa’s table. Now, a feast partaken among friends. Eat. Drink. Fill your hunger, slake your thirst. Yes, but first, come to your senses. Look at the elements, offered for you. Touch it, smell it, taste it. Partake and be nourished. Kneel and give thanks. Listen, to what calls you from this table and from this meal.
We, in the flesh, are met here to be filled. Flowing over in abundance, we are sent.
Flinging open the sanctuary doors, the wind whips our faces and stings our bare skin. The stench of septic assaults our noses and we hold our breath against the onslaught. An arm thrown over our eyes for protection, we dodge flying debris as we lean into the gale.
“Friends! Friends!” I call. “Come. Come and have lunch.”
In the distance, a child rises to come quickly, but a woman presses her back, staring at this woman dressed in church clothes, with church purse, and designer shoes. Staring at me. Surely, I do not mean them.
“Neighbors! Neighbors!” I call. “Come. Come and have lunch.”
Stepping nearer to them, the stench no longer assaults me but is fragrant. The gale no longer pelts, it’s a mere breeze. My hands are free to extend to this family, who did not know my Grandmother’s fresh baked bread or my Papa’s full bodied wine and do not know me.
A child, the smallest of three I now see, wriggles from her place. A grin starting at her lips and a query forming in her eyes, she steps to me and mimics: “Come … have … lunch.” Pleased with the effort, her eyes sparkle and her grin grows. She opens both hands to receive mine.
Her tiny fingers, darkened by nature and worn rough by destiny, are a surprise of firmness and warmth. She took me, the bread and cup of me, and we had lunch.
Blessed Sacrament, you are Holy.
“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory