As I write, the TV is on in the background and I can hear the members of the BBC's Question Time Panel battling it out, giving their opinion, commenting on society and the issues of the day. I'm not actually listening to it and I don't even know who the panelists are or what they're talking about. I can simply hear the lull of impassioned speech, raised voices and the occasional applause as the audience offer its affirmation. There are so many solutions, so it seems, to the problems of the day, so many ways out, so many differences of opinion, so many people wanting to get it right and thinking they have the answers to any and all of the challenges that lie in the path of politicians and the public, a simple symposium to seek out answers and sway the way that things are going! I remember reading once that the definition of the word 'Symposium' was of Greek origin when men would meet together to eat, but primarily to drink, and then debate and deliberate with one another, plot and plan, or boast and battle it out with words as they reclined and ruminated over what was being said. It seems food and drink has the ability to make things flow!
This morning I was with Fr Ben at Teilo's School to celebrate a Teaching Mass, where we explored with young people the meaning of the Eucharist. The young people (Year 7 pupils, they were) were really good and got involved as much as they could, answering questions and singing the songs (new songs, too) with ease. One of the things we tried to get across to them was the meal aspect of the Eucharist, so easily forgotten. Gathered round the table of the Lord we tried to let the food and drink make things flow!
I love the image of the Beloved Disciple, in the Gospel according to John, reclining on Jesus' breast as they celebrate that Last Supper. It's such an intimate moment, and it's an intimacy that we experience ourselves when we celebrate the Eucharist, though it's so easily forgotten. The Eucharist can be celebrated in so many ways but whether it's a High Mass or a House Communion there is, and always should be, a familair holiness, when we are filled with awe but are also drawn into an intimacy with Jesus, as if we were ourselves reclining at table, enjoying his presence, leaning across him, as close as close can be. A place where there is love, such love, love that fills us and overflows the whole of our being, and where Jesus offers us his very self in bread and wine. Yes, food and drink has the ability to make things flow!