A Meal For Our Souls

The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home

June 2, 2024 – Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

Mark 14:12-26


Download this simple process to Prepare for Sunday using the Observe, Judge, Act Method. 

Many of my childhood memories were created around the dinner table. Especially on special days like Christmas and Easter. While good food and drink were essential, what I mostly recall were the conversations and banter created between bites. Now as a dad and grandpa, I treasure shared meals even more.  

Biblical scholars note that Jesus enjoyed communal meals too. Luke’s gospel reports eleven such occasions. And we all pay special attention to his “Last Supper.”

I can’t recall exactly when our family created a special meal ritual that continues to this day – something we call “positives and negatives.” After a meal prayer, it often begins

with the oldest one there, or occasionally with the youngest. Then it proceeds all around the table according to age.

The rule is simple. Share with those gathered at least one positive and one negative thing that is going on in your life right now. It can be something very serious or something quite lite, and in our rulebook, you must have one of each. Or you can have more.

This additional “ritual” reminds us that beside the food and drink shared, so also we share our lives, our current thoughts, concerns and challenges. Those meals become not only an opportunity to nourish our bodies, but they feed our concern for each other. Even our spirits. Occasionally there is a surprise expressed. No, almost every time we do this, there are surprises.


Today’s Sunday Eucharist recalls that meal when Jesus fed not only the bodies of his closest followers, but also their souls, their spirits. In the bread broken and the wine shared at that meal, he also gave them himself, his own body, his own life.


And in memory of him and that meal, for centuries Christians continue to celebrate the sharing of his life with ours. Jesus is present not just in the proclamation of his word, not only in the reception of Eucharistic bread and wine, but also in the gathered community. As the ritual unfolds, we are reminded that “blessed are those who are called to this supper.”  


And this happens not just now on earth, but it is promised to us after we die. Then we will experience an eternal banquet. With lots of positives.   

David M. Thomas, PhD    


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