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
- Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist (Aug 29-Monday)
- Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great (Sept 4-Saturday)
- Music | Chant of the week - in honor of St. Gregory the Great, Listen to Chant (Benedictine Tradition) and learn about the monks of Norcia, Italy (St. Benedict's hometown)
- 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
- Movies | Top 10 Classic Movies all Catholics should see
#2 RECIPES - Commit to 2 quality-time family meals
- Cherries Cuisine in honor of St. Gregory the Great.
- Legume Soup in honor of St. Gregory the Great.
#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
MEMORIAL OF THE PASSION OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST (Aug 29, Monday)
The Church, having celebrated the earthly birthday of St. John the Baptist on June 24, today honors the anniversary of his martyrdom. Besides our Lord and our Lady, St. John the Baptist is the only one whose birth and death are thus celebrated. Today's Gospel relates the circumstances of his execution. He had the courage to blame Herod to his face for the scandal of his illegal union with his sister-in-law Herodias, whose husband was still alive. Herodias contrived to make Herod imprison him and took advantage of an unexpected opportunity to obtain through her daughter Salome the beheading of the saint. READ MORE>
MEMORIAL OF SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT (Sept 3, Saturday)
St. Gregory, senator and prefect of Rome, then in succession monk, cardinal and pope, governed the Church from 590 to 604. England owes her conversion to him. At a period when the invasion of the barbarians created a new situation in Europe, he played a considerable part in the transitional stage, during which a great number of them were won for Christ. At the same time he watched over the holiness of the clergy and preserved ecclesiastical discipline, as well as attending to the temporal interests of his people of Rome and the spiritual interests of the whole of Christendom. To him the liturgy owes several of its finest prayers, and the name "Gregorian chant" recalls this great Pope's work in the development of the Church's chant. His commentaries on Holy Scripture exercised a considerable influence on Christian thought, particularly in the Middle Ages. Together with St. Ambrose, St. Augustine and St. Jerome, he is one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church. READ MORE>
CHANT CD OF THE WEEK
In honor of St. Gregory the Great, Listen to Chant (Benedictine Tradition) and learn about the monks of Norcia, Italy (St. Benedict's hometown).
Inspiring, beautiful music of Chant at it's very best - from Italy by The Monks of Norcia. BENEDICTA: Marian Chant from Norcia is the title for this new recording of 33 tracks of Gregorian chant, including favorite Marian antiphons such as "Regina Caeli" and "Ave Regina Caelorum".
Learn about The Monks of Norcia and their new Chant CD below:
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.
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
CHERRY-BASED RECIPES | In honor of St. Gregory the Great
- Cherries and Pecorino Cheese
In a heat-proof earthenware pot sauté the pork fat with the onion and garlic (remove the garlic from the pan as soon as it becomes golden brown). Add the beans and legumes and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the tomatoes or paste and then fill the pot with cold water. Season and simmer uncovered. The soup is ready when enough water has evaporated away. Serve warm over slices of toasted country bread. If desired, add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Recipe Source: Buon Appetito, Your Holiness: The Secrets of the Papal Table by Mariangela Rinaldi and Mariangela Vicini, Arcade Publishing, New York, 2000
#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 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
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY - SEPT 4th
Knowledge alone has limits. We also need wisdom to understand the ways of God.
God's power has no boundaries; it is not limited by space and time.
Philemon 9-10, 12-17
Paul encourages one of his converts to consider his former slave a brother in Christ Jesus.
Jesus teaches about the demands of discipleship.
Background on the Gospel Reading
In chapter 14 of Luke's Gospel, Jesus is speaking to people gathered at the table about the difficulties of following him. This group of people is suspicious about Jesus, looking to catch him doing something wrong. Jesus speaks to them in parables, emphasizing that although there is a right way to be a disciple and enter into the kingdom of his Father, it is a difficult path to follow. Many, even some of the guests at the table, reject the invitation. So Jesus turns to the crowds and speaks to them of discipleship. Jesus explains that, when it comes to making a choice for the Kingdom of God, nothing can get in the way. When Jesus describes “hating” one's father and mother, he is not talking about feelings. Rather, he is emphasizing very strongly that choosing to be a disciple means that everything else—family, money, your own life—must come second. In Matthew's version of this story (Matthew 10:37), Jesus refers not to “hating” father or mother, but to loving them more than Jesus. Jesus makes it very clear that being a disciple is not easy. It means to bear one's own cross. These difficult sayings of Jesus are followed by two brief parables (a person constructing a tower and a king marching into battle) that make an obvious point—don't start what you cannot finish. Discipleship is difficult and is something we can commit to only if we are prepared to put the Kingdom of God before everything else.
PAINTING - I, Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus, urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus. (Second Reading). Rembrandt—Saint Paul in his prison, detail, 1627
*** END OF THIS WEEK'S TABLE TALK ***