Reflecting on John 6: 51-58
My friend John’s story about going to the football game with his dad comes back to me every year on this feast day. “I’ll never give up my season tickets. I go to every game. It’s the place where my dad and I have our best talks.”
Actually, his dad died nearly thirty years ago. Growing up, John and his dad enjoyed the entire Game Day ritual―Mass, breakfast, driving to the stadium, firing up the grill, hamburgers, and football. They talked, and ate, and shared in the triumphs and humiliations of the game. And the next week, if the team was in town, they did it all again.
John grieved horribly when his dad died in the spring of 1990. He was his best friend. They had built so many memories. He would never see him again.
Except, of course, on Sunday afternoons, in the sun and wind and cold, and the hot dogs and beer, and the cheering and the booing, and memories so real that John feels his dad next to him at every game. He goes to see his dad, to really feel his presence.
There are many sensory triggers that can transport us. Think about pipe smoke. Can you smell it? I can, and suddenly my grandpa is with me. A Beach Boys song on a summer day can bring childhood friends right into the room. These cues make the past Really Present.
As Catholics, we get that. Every Sunday we place ourselves in the position to Re-Member the One who loved us to his death. In the Eucharist the Beloved Past becomes the Real Presence. This is the feast that tells us who we are.
What sensory experiences bring the past right back to you?
Kathy McGovern ©2017