SJA Table Talk is a website with fun content to help you prepare for Mass as a family and to encourage faith-based conversations at the dinner table. The goal is to get our families into a rhythm of 2 quality meals per week and 10 minutes of preparation for Mass.
FEAST Day - Our Lady of Lourdes
Sunday February 12th marks the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 to fourteen-year-old Marie Bernade (St. Bernadette) Soubirous. Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times, and showed herself to St. Bernadette in the hollow of the rock at Lourdes. On March 25 she said to the little shepherdess who was only fourteen years of age: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Since then Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and many cures and conversions have taken place. The message of Lourdes is a call to personal conversion, prayer, and charity.
MOVIE | The Song of Bernadette, a masterpiece filmed in 1943
In 1858 France, Bernadette, an adolescent peasant girl, has a vision of "a beautiful lady" in the city dump. She never claims it to be anything other than this, but the townspeople all assume it to be the virgin Mary. The pompous government officials think she is nuts, and do their best to suppress the girl and her followers, and the church wants nothing to do with the whole matter. But as Bernadette attracts wider and wider attention, the phenomenon overtakes everyone in the the town, and transforms their lives.
RECIPE | Chicken Cordon Bleu - A (Blue) French meal for Our Lady of Lourdes
'Cordon Bleu' is a French term, literally translated as 'blue ribbon'. Therefore, the main dish for the feast day fo Our Lady of Lourde is Chicken Cordon Bleu.
This yummy version adds paprika and a creamy white wine sauce worthy of its own blue ribbon. Two blue ribbon tastes in wedded bliss -- Chicken Cordon Bleu II!"
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY
LIVING THE GOSPEL (Feb 12th) - I have not come to abolish the law and the prophets but to fulfill them
The eyes of God see all he has made.
Psalm 119:1–2,4–5, 17–18,33–34
Happy are those who walk in the way of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 2:6–10
God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit.
I have not come to abolish the law and the prophets but to fulfill them.
Background on the Gospel Reading
Matthew continues the Sermon on the Mount with a three part instruction by Jesus on the Way of Life in the kingdom of heaven. Today’s reading is part one and deals with the Law. Part two deals with worship and religious practice and contains the Lord’s Prayer. Part three deals with trusting God and deeds of loving service to our neighbor.
When Matthew speaks of “the Law and the prophets” he means the whole Scripture. When the Messiah brings the fullness of the kingdom none of scripture will be done away with. Instead it will be fulfilled. Matthew’s Jesus does not overturn the Law of Moses, nor does he set his followers free from the Law. He requires his followers to go beyond the Law by doing more than the Law requires.
The Law condemned murder. Jesus condemns anger. The Law condemned adultery. Jesus condemns even lustful looks. As Jewish Christians who had always been faithful to the Law Matthew’s community need a way to understand the difference Jesus and the kingdom he brings have made. They affirmed that God had always been at work in history through “the Law and the prophets.” But God’s work goes beyond that to be embodied by the Messiah who reveals the definitive will of God. The written scriptures and their interpretation in tradition are surpassed by Jesus whose life and teaching are the definitive revelation of the will of God.
PAINTING - Whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; and whoever says to his brother, 'Raqa,' will be answerable to the Sanhedrin. (Gospel) Leonardo da Vinci, Study of Two Warriors' Heads for the Battle of Anghiari, 1505
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY (Feb 19th) - My command to you is: love your enemies, pray for your persecutors.
Leviticus 19:1–2, 17–18
Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.
Psalm 103: 1–4,8,10, 12–13
Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
1 Corinthians 3:16–23
Are you not aware that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
My command to you is: love your enemies, pray for your persecutors.
Background on the Gospel
The last two antitheses offered in the Sermon on the Mount deal with love of enemies. We should not look at “an eye for an eye” as an inordinately strict punishment. It is actually meant to limit acts of revenge by making sure the punishment is not excessive but fits the crime. However, Jesus asks his followers to take a different approach by resisting retaliation altogether. The response to a stronger person who slaps us on the cheek, takes us to court, or demands a service of us is not to resist. Similarly, for a weaker person, such as a beggar or borrower, we are to give him or her what he or she asks for. Those who are called to the Kingdom of Heaven are to go beyond the way the world usually works and serve God’s kingdom here on earth.
The other difficult demand of those who are called to the kingdom is to embrace the enemy. There is no command in the Old Testament to hate individuals in a personal or vindictive way. But there is a religious stance that calls one to hate evil and to distance oneself from those who participate in evil. In contrast, Matthew emphasizes that love of God and love of neighbor are the fundamental commands on which all else depend. Because God’s love is unconditional, we are to strive to love as God does, though, of course, it is challenging. Is it even possible?
The key is in the final verse. We are to be perfect as our heavenly father is perfect. Matthew uses the Greek word telos, which is probably better translated here as “complete.” We are not to be perfect as in doing everything correctly, that is, as in being absolutely morally correct. We are to be perfect as in striving to reach the completeness we are called to in the Kingdom of Heaven. Attempting to love our enemies is part of striving for that completeness.
PAINTING - If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand over your cloak as well. (Gospel) Rembrandt, Beggar seated on a bank, 1630