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.
See this week's discussion guide below. Then come back each week. We will be your 'Sous Chef' - finding the best morsels from the internet and Catholic teachings for your family's consumption.
Outline for this weeks Table Talk:
#1 CONVERSATION STARTERS
- Olympics - Faithful Athletes - Read about three Gold Medalists who are devout Catholics: Simone Biles and Katie Ladecky
- Preparing for College (and H.S.) - One of the best podcasts you may listen to this year, listen to Father Riccardo's talk with your teenagers to help them prepare for college (also appropriate for high school students)
- Music | 360 Degree Video - Tim Timmons debuts a special 360 video, making Christian music history as is it the first official music video of its kind filmed
- Year of Mercy - Pilgrimage | Camino de Santiago - 'the way of St. James
- PokemonGO is Leading People to Church (sort of :-)
- Movies | Top 10 Classic Movies all Catholics should see
#2 RECIPES - Commit to 2 quality-time family meals
- Spanish Fare - In honor of St. James the Greater.
#3 PREPARING FOR SUNDAY
- Podcast - Listen to 'Reclaiming Sundays' from Father Riccardo and Ave Maria 'Christ is the Answer'
- Living the Gospel (Aug 21st) Gospel: People will come from north and south, east and west, and take their place in the Kingdom of God.
- Preparing for Sunday (Aug 28) Gospel: When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
#1 CONVERSATION STARTERS
OLYMPICS | Simone Biles soars to Olympic gold while grounded in her Catholic Faith
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, August 10, 2016 — When three-time world champion gymnast Simone Biles flew to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games, the 19-year-old carried a rosary her mother gave her and a St. Sebastian medal from her family’s spiritual home, St. James the Apostle Catholic Church in Spring, Texas. Read full article>
OLYMPICS | Katie Ladecky prays the Rosary before every race
But before every race Ledecky, a faithful Catholic, offers a Hail Mary. “I do say a prayer – or two – before any race. The Hail Mary is a beautiful prayer and I find that it calms me.” she said. In an interview with the Catholic Standard Ledecky said “My Catholic faith is very important to me. It always has been and it always will be. It is part of who I am and I feel comfortable practicing my faith. It helps me put things in perspective.”
For Catholic Usain Bolt, there is only one medal he wears every day - the 'Miraculous Medal'
Usain Bolt, the olympian from Jamaica, is known as the world’s fastest man and he has the world records and the Olympic Gold medals to prove it. Bolt won 3 Gold Medals in London in 2008, 3 more in Beijing in 2012, and is just won the Gold medal in Rio in the mens' 100m dash. But one medal you will see Bolt consistently wearing is the “Miraculous Medal”. Bolt, who’s middle name is “St. Leo”, is a devout Catholic and is known for making the sign of the cross before racing. Additionally, he has been invited to speak at the Vatican and being often seen wearing his miraculous medal around his neck even during races.
For those who don’t know about it, “The Miraculous Medal” is a Catholic devotional medal, given to Saint Catherine Laboure in a vision in 1830. The medal, said to be designed by Our Lady herself, bears the words, “O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!” over an image ov Mary standing upon a half globe, hands raised up to her waist, fingers giving off rays of light. In the vision, Our Lady promised that “those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck.”
PODCAST | PREPARING FOR COLLEGE (and High School)
LISTEN TO PODCAST | This talk is particularly tailored for kids that are going to college - but is suitable for junior high and high school students. Father talks about how the culture - particularly college campuses - is 1,000 times more toxic than a generation ago. And how our kids and young adults are susceptible to their faith being attacked (which it is). Father says to expect attacks. God allows attacks. Sometimes God wills attacks (he allowed John to get stretched). Faith does not protect us from trials... faith drives us into trials. He provides 6 strategies to ensure our faith grows when it is attacked -- as opposed to getting lost and 'picked off' by these attacks.
One of the best podcasts you may listen to this year, listen to Father Riccardo's talk with your kids to help them prepare for collage (also appropriate for high school students). Listen Now>
MUSIC VIDEO | 360 Degree - Everywhere I Go, by Tim Timmons
Franklin, Tenn. - Singer, songwriter and Reunion Records artist Tim Timmons debuts a special new music video today for his new single "Everywhere I Go." The video, filmed in 360 and using a green screen, makes Christian music history as is it the first official music video of its kind filmed in this unique format for the genre.
In a 360 video, viewers can see everything at every angle, making it a new experience every time you watch it depending where you look. Read more about the video.
Watch the 'normal' video below and the 360 degree version (must use Chrome or Firefox browser).
ST JAMES THE GREATER | Read Full Bio
Saint James the Greater was one of Jesus' first disciples. James was fishing with his father and John the Apostle when Jesus came to the shores of the Sea of Galilee and called for the fisherman, who were unable to catch any fish that day, to dip their nets in the water once again. When the fishermen followed Jesus' instructions, they found their nets full, and after emptying the fish on board, the boats nearly sank from their weight. Later, James was one of only three called by Jesus to witness his Transfiguration. Following Christ's Ascension, James spread the Gospel across Israel and the Roman kingdom as well. He traveled and spread the Word for nearly forty years in Spain. Later, James returned to Jerusalem but was martyred for his faith by King Herod, who decapitated him. Saint James the Greater is known as the first apostle to die. As he was not allowed to be buried following his martyrdom, his remains were taken to Compostela, Spain, by some of his followers, who buried him. In the ninth century his remains were discovered and moved to a tomb in Santiago de Compostela. Today, his remains can still be found in the Cathedral of Santiago.
Because Santiago de Compostela is the most frequently visited place pilgrims migrate to following Rome and Jerusalem, Pope Leo declared it a shrine. Read More>
PILGRIMAGE | Camino de Santiago - The Way of St. James
The Camino de Santiago, Galician: Camiño de Santiago), also known by the English names Way of St. James, and Road to Santiago, is the name of any of the pilgrimage routes, known as pilgrim ways, (most commonly the Camino Francés or French route) to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried.
The pilgrimage to Santiago has never ceased from the time of the discovery of St. James's remains.
The Scallop Shell - Symbol of St. James along the pilgrimage
The scallop shell, often found on the shores in Galicia, has long been the symbol of the Camino de Santiago. The shell is seen on posts and signs along the Camino in order to guide pilgrims along the way. The shell is even more commonly seen on the pilgrims themselves. Wearing a shell denotes that one is a traveler on the Camino de Santiago.
The scallop shell also served practical purposes for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. The shell was the right size for gathering water to drink or for eating out of as a makeshift bowl
MOVIE | The Way (with Martin Sheen)
The Way and The Way is an movie for those seeking uplift. The story involves a California doctor named Tom (Martin Sheen), whose son Daniel dies while attempting to complete the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James), a centuries-old pilgrimage over Spanish mountain country to the Cathedral de Santiago. Daniel was apparently religious. Tom is definitely not. He flies to Spain to identify his son's body, oversees its cremation and decides on the spot to scatter the ashes along the Way that Daniel planned to trek. Daniel (Estevez) appears to him from time to time, in visions or imagination, as Tom rethinks their relationship.
MOVIE | Walking the Camino - Six Ways to Santiago
Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago follows various pilgrims, from ages three to 73, as they attempt to cross an entire country on foot - with only a backpack, a pair of boots and an open mind. Driven by an inexplicable calling and a grand sense of adventure, each pilgrim throws themselves heart and soul into their physical trek to Santiago de Compostela, and most importantly, their personal journey to themselves. Whatever their motivation, no one can predict just how their paths will unfold, what personal demons or angels they will face, or what transformations they will undergo by trail's end. Called "A brilliant documentary" by Martin Sheen, this multiple award-winning film has been selling out screenings worldwide.
New Smartphone Game PokemonGO is Leading People to Church!
On July 6th, a new smartphone game Pokémon GO was released. As an augmented reality game, it has players travel about their real-world communities looking for pokémon and other game items, which appear on their smartphone when they reach certain real-world locations. And it just so happens that the game has been placing a lot of important items near churches!
MOVIES | 10 Classic Movies that all Catholics should see
Once in a while, a film will come along that manages to introduce us to key aspects of faith, allowing us to glimpse timeless truths through the language of cinema. These movies become windows to the essentials; they give color, sound and voice to that which is invisible to the eye, yet is fundamental to understanding the Christian life.
2 of the movies are highlighted below. See the full list here
Of Gods and Men
This film relates the true story of a community of Trappist monks in Algeria, seven of whom were who were assassinated during the Algerian Civil War of 1996. The movie is not an over-sentimentalized tribute to the courage of seven men, nor is it a tale of resignation to unfortunate events. Rather, it is the opposite, a spark of hope that enlightens a world full of hate and violence, and it is precisely because the story of these men is also a call for decisive action, even when this means choosing, for love of God, to trust Him absolutely.
The Tree of Life (with Brad Pitt)
This production by Terrence Malick perhaps has a great defect which is, at the same time, its greatest virtue: an attempt to show - cinematically - an all-encompassing vision of the mystery of Creation, sin and the love of God in the life of man; a mystery that is impossible to depict entirely. The film’s analogous language is perhaps hard to understand, but the beauty of its execution and its thematic depth is undeniable. It is, therefore, a beautiful attempt to show with images the mystery of life, which involves the action of God, man’s response, liberty, suffering, eternal life, among many other topics for our reflection.
#2 RECIPES | Commit to 2 Quality-time Meals
SPANISH CUISINE | In honor of St. James the Greater
Enjoy Spanish Cuisine in honor of St. James and the Spanish pilgrimage - particularly any recipe with scallops - as scallops are a symbol of St. James.
- See - Recipes from Galicia, Spain (the region of Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela)
- See - 26 Scallop Recipes, from Coast Living
Ina Garten’s Coquilles St.-Jacques | See Recipe
Here is an easy version of coquilles St.-Jacques, the classic French preparation of scallops in a creamy sauce, under a crust of bread crumbs and cheese. It comes from Ina Garten, the celebrated cookbook author and television star, who has been cooking it for dinner parties. It makes for a beautiful entree that matches well with a green salad, flinty white wine and good conversation. It can be made the day before serving and heated through in an oven while guests gather. “A lot of dishes taste better after they sit for a while,” Garten said. With its whisper of curry powder in the rich, unctuous sauce, this is one of them.
Galician Style Scallops | See Recipe
Scallops or vieiras are quite typical in Galicia, a coastal region characterized by its remarkable seafood and fish recipes. Galician-style scallops is the most common recipe and it consists of baked scallops with breadcrumbs and sauce. Served as an appetizer or first course, this traditional dish is very popular because of its delicious taste. The recipe is simple, and the result is bound to be a great success, especially for seafood lovers.
Tarta de Santiago | See Recipe
Tarta de Santiago -Santiago cake- is typical of the gastronomy from Galicia that you would read about in your Spanish guide, however it is consumed in the entire country. It's main ingredient is crushed almonds. We don't have much information about the consumption of almonds in Galicia in medieval times, so we don't know exactly when or how it began, but the first documented reference dates back to 1577 when Pedro de Porto Carrero visited University of Santiago. It was a similar recipe but the name was different, it was called torta real, which means royal cake (if you would like to learn Spanish in Spain, we recommend a course abroad).
Paella = The ultimate family food from Spain | See Video Recipe
#3 PREPARING FOR SUNDAY
LISTEN NOW> | If you have lost your vigor for Sunday Mass or if you are trying to inspire your family or friend to go to Mass, this talk on Ave Maria Radio is a must listen.
Early Christians used to define Sunday as “the day we can not not live without”. Because it orientates everything we do. It defines everything we do. This talk is an honest reflection on how one may view Sunday and how we would like to view Sunday. And then it defines a healthy approach to Sunday.
Father Riccardo's pod cast poses several questions:
- What is my approach to Sunday?
- Is Sunday the last day of my weekend, or the first day of my week?
- Is there any difference between my Saturday and my Sunday?
- Could I live without the Eucharist?
- Is there any real rest in my life? LISTEN NOW>
LIVING THE GOSPEL (AUG 21st)
Nations of every language shall come to see my glory.
Praise the Lord, all you nations.
Whom the Lord loves, he disciplines.
People will come from north and south, east and west, and take their place in the Kingdom of God.
Background on the Gospel Reading
Today's Gospel reading is the third of three parables in chapter 13 that deal with the theme of the unexpected reversals brought by the Kingdom of God. The other two parables are about the tiny mustard seed that grows into a large tree and the small amount of yeast that makes a large batch of dough rise. All three are about the few and the many and the Kingdom of God.
As this parable opens, Luke reminds us that Jesus is making his way to Jerusalem. This journey, this exodus as Luke refers to it, makes up the entire middle of the Gospel. He is teaching as he goes. A question from the crowd gives Jesus the chance to make a prophetic statement. Luke uses this question device a number of times in his Gospel. A few weeks ago, the question “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” led to the parable of the Good Samaritan. The question about will only a few be saved uses typical Christian language about salvation but also expresses the Jewish concern about whether everyone who calls himself a Jew is actually faithful to the covenant. This was a concern of the Pharisees.
Jesus answers that they must strive in the time remaining to enter through the narrow door because many will be trying to get in but won't be strong enough. He then moves to a parable about another door. (The translation says “gate” then “door,” but the same Greek word is used.) Once all those entering the master's house are in and he locks the door, there will be no way for others to get in. Those left outside may knock, but the master will say he doesn't know them. Unlike the Gospel reading from a few weeks ago where Jesus was teaching about prayer, and we were told to knock and the door would be opened, in this parable, the master will not open and say he does not know us. People from the north, south, east, and west will take our place inside. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets will take our place in the Kingdom of God. Those who do not make it through the narrow door will be cast out to where there is wailing and grinding of teeth.
The image of the door is replaced in the final verses of the parable with the image of the heavenly banquet. Two passages from the Book of Isaiah influence the conclusion. Isaiah 43:5-6 speaks of God bringing Israel's descendents back from the east and from the west, the north and the south. And Isaiah 25:6 speaks of the Lord providing a feast of rich foods and choice wines for all peoples on his holy mountain. The answer to the question if only a few will be saved is no. In the end, many will be saved, but many who thought they would be saved will not be saved. The parable is a prophetic warning to repentance in order to enter the kingdom.
PAINTING - After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ William Holman Hunt, The Importunate Neighbor, 1895, detail
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY (AUG 28th)
You have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.
When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
Background on the Gospel Reading
Meals played an important role in the society in which Jesus lived. More than a time for sharing nourishment, they were a time to share ideas and to model different aspects of social relationships. In Luke's Gospel, the places that a person ate (at the home of a tax collector, 5:29), the people with whom a person ate (sinners, 5:30), whether a person washed before eating (11:38), and, as is the case here, the place that a person sits while eating are all important. The narrator says Jesus tells a parable, but it is really wise advice to both guests and hosts about finding true happiness at the heavenly banquet.
Jesus warns guests to wait before taking their places at the table lest they be asked to move if someone more important arrives. This is more than just a lesson about dinner etiquette. It is advice on how to find your true place in the Kingdom of God. Jesus advises hosts not to invite people who would be expected to repay them to dinner but to invite those who could not repay: the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. This is where real blessings can be found.
In these sayings, Luke gives us not only advice on how to approach the end times but also on how to live according to Jesus' vision of a good society. Luke's Gospel also advises us how the Church must be part of bringing about this society. It is yet another example in Luke's Gospel of the reversal the kingdom brings about.
PAINTING - When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. (Gospel) Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Blind Leading the Blind, 1568, detail
*** END OF THIS WEEK'S TABLE TALK ***