August 31, 2014
Two, Even Three Table Sittings
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
St. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, chastises the Christian community for inhospitality and rudeness. The first Christians used to keep vigil together from Saturday evening sundown to Sunday morning sunrise; they prayed and fasted throughout the night. When morning came, therefore, being hungry, following the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, they would eat a meal together, the “break fast.” This “break fast” was more commonly referred to as the “second table.” But St. Paul called out the Corinthians for, among other things, not waiting for one another, especially for the poor, to return from their homes where they had gone to get their food before beginning to eat at the second table. He lamented: “[E]ach one goes ahead with his own supper, and one goes hungry while another gets drunk” (11:22), and then again: “[M]y brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another” (11:33).
I invite you to resurrect the notion of second table sittings in your family.
First, I cannot stress enough the importance of the family celebrating two tables, namely, attending the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, together and on Sunday together eating a family meal. And, as nice as it may be to dine out at a restaurant, the Sunday meal should be lovingly prepared and hosted by those responsible for the family: the father and the mother. Jesus saved us through the eating of a meal. We should not neglect the power of the home-cooked Sunday meal to unite our families and serve our children.
Second, next week we are resurrecting an “ancient!” Catholic tradition: coffee and donuts! Yep! On the first Sunday of every month, after the 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. Masses, join us for a sort of second table sitting: coffee and donuts.
Third, in two weeks time, Sunday, 9/14, I am inaugurating a new ministry we are calling the Second Sunday Sitting. You have heard me mention this before. That evening at 6:30 I will call every parishioner. We all can participate in a TeleForum™, a sort of town hall meeting. TeleFora™ are all about community and communication. The first two or three in particular will be about listening—my listening to you, your questions, your ideas, your concerns, and all of us listening to one another. Participants will be invited to submit questions and comments, talk with me live while everyone on the phone listens, and contribute. In months to come we can tailor our conversation to specific topics, host guests, etc.
We are spending a good deal of time cleaning up the parish’s data base, especially in regard to phone numbers. If you have changed your phone number since completing your parishioner information card, if you never completed a form but want to be included in the TeleForum™, or if you know others—friends and family—who would want to participate, please send me an email and let me know your/their contact information. My own email address is to the right.