MARCH 18, 2018
7:00 AM, 5:30 PM ORDINARY FORM (ENGLISH) MASSES
Comfort foods are menu items that hold a nostalgic or sentimental value to a person. A comfort foods are usually high in calories, high in carbohydrates, or perhaps just easy to prepare. The nostalgia may be specific to an individual, a family, or a particular culture.
For me, growing up, it meant an egg fried in toast. The meaning behind that was, while it was easy to prepare, there were seven of us, so each was prepared one at a time. That usually meant that breakfast wasn’t in a rush.
Some typical American comfort foods would be apple pie ala mode, cheeseburgers, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, or anything chocolate.
Comfort foods are seen by some as a stress eating response – a way to feel better through food. Although other studies have shown that men eat when they feel good, while women eat when the feel bad.
Broad brush strokes aside, eating patterns and menu choices are always unique to individual persons, families, regions, and cultures.
Like all things, whatever we eat or drink – should be done in moderation.
Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent.
We are 27 days in, and have had – counting today – 5 Sundays off.
How are things going?
In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus say,
The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.10 chapters earlier in John’s Gospel, at the Wedding Feast of Cana, Jesus’ first miracle, He had said just the opposite - that His hour had not yet come.
What has changed?
In the Epistle to the Hebrews, we are told that Jesus
learned obedience from what he sufferedand when he was made perfect,he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.What obedience did Jesus need to learn?
In essence, the translation into English loses a bit of its meaning from the Greek. This phrase could be rendered that Jesus
increased in conformity [to us] by the things that he sufferedand when this was completehe became the author of salvation for all who are conformed to him
Saint Athanasius, the great 3rd century doctor of the Church said it this way:
For the Son of God became man so that we might become GodAnd so as Jesus took on our sufferings in conformity to human nature, so that if we are conformed to Him, we can share in His divine nature.
This is the spirit of adoption that we share as members of Christ’s body through Baptism.
Or as St. Paul says in Second Timothy:
If we have died with him [then] we shall also live with him;if we persevere [then] we shall also reign with him.
The bottom line is that too often Christians become “comfortable” with the way things are. When in reality, we are supposed to become “conformable” to the Person of Jesus Christ.
A big reason why we increase our prayers, fasting, and almsgiving during Lent is so that we can become more and more conformed to the image of Christ Jesus.
Less “comfortable” … more “conformable.”
And this is the “new covenant” that the prophet Jeremiah speaks of in the first reading … written seven centuries before Christ – to have God’s law written on our hearts through a deep and personal knowledge of God through the forgiveness of sin.
As we approach this altar to receive the Sacred Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ … may be be strengthened in our Lenten practices – not for their own sakes, but to bring us closer to God by the action of the Holy Spirit, conforming us more and more to Christ Jesus, Our Lord.