A reading from the Book of Nehemiah: 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10 ...."Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep"— for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. He said further: "Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!” REFLECTION:
For most of us reading this, we live in a land of plenty. Food and drink and dining out are often triggered by what and when we feel like. Today’s first reading reminds me to look forward to Sunday as a proper feast, not just in the Church but in my daily routine, and to save rich foods and sweet drinks for days of holy significance. In the alignment of our physical surroundings with our interior one, we are able to appreciate things deeper and richer. When I am hiking for a week, we often carry basic food rather than indulgent things. One time, my friends and I ate mostly tuna for our meals; we decided to go without a stove that week to save on the weight we had to carry, which meant we were not able to eat any hot food at all. The first pie at the end of that walk was amazing!! The paradox of less is more speaks of gaining more of our reality, our humanity, not more of stuff. And how fitting it is that Sunday, the day when we are asked to receive our Lord, that we should feast this day as a day of “more”. We become more humanly alive, and more divine when Jesus comes to us in the Eucharist!
For me, saving rich foods and sweet drinks for Sunday can be a way to celebrate this reality.