Sunday, June 10, 2007

Room and Board

The Gospel for the Feast of Corpus Christi in year C is from Luke: the multiplication of loaves and fish for 5,000. Given the feast day, you'd think I would have focused on the specifically Eucharistic aspect of this story, but something quite different struck me. It was that when the disciples went to Jesus with their proposal about the crowd, they suggested he dismiss them "to find lodging and food" in the villages nearby. It was the word "lodging" that caught my attention. I had never noticed it before.
Is there something Luke is telling us about the Eucharist with that word "lodging"? I think so.
I went to my handy-dandy Greek New Testament to look up the passage. Luke, it turns out, uses a verb form (katalysosin) that sounded very familiar to me. I went from Luke 9 (multiplication of loaves and fish) to Luke 2 (birth of Jesus). There was no room for them in the...katalymati. Same root. And, led by a vague memory, I flipped to the back of the Gospel, to chapter 22, where Jesus is sending his disciples to prepare for the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. He tells them to go to a certain place and ask the owner where the katalyma is for "the Master" to celebrate Passover. In other words, the three passages use the same root word: used in different grammatical forms and translated three different ways for us, but basically the selfsame word.
Is Luke suggesting the very Johannine conviction that "whoever eats my flesh remains in me and I in that person"? Is Luke's use of "katalyma" the equivalent of John's "abide"? So that the Eucharist admits us to our true dwelling?
I think I might be on to something.


Drak said...

I like your blog sister!

Anonymous said...

Sister Anne, if you were not always "on to something" your fans would have to find another source of inspiration. mk

Maureen said...

Wow! You have really unpacked those passages for us. Thank you, Sister!