I recently had the pleasure of sharing a warm bowl of soup with four or five individuals while we were taking a break from setting up for an event. The soup had been lovingly prepared by one of the committee chairpersons and transported to the parish hall in a slow-cooker earlier that morning. The meal consisted of soup and bread, nothing more, yet it was incredibly satisfying. We had been working hard all morning and this little respite refueled our bodies and souls. The conversation was light, and the mood was cheerful. The entire meal lasted a very short time, but I knew I wanted to reflect a little more on this notion of being “filled up.”
Merriam Webster’s first definition of communion is “an act or instance of sharing.” The third definition is “intimate fellowship or rapport.” You may possibly be most familiar with the definition in-between, and that is the capitalized word, Communion, meaning the Sacrament we receive when we gather together at Mass. As a bit of a word geek, I was compelled to examine the word communion in its lower-case form because those simple communions might just occur more often than we think!
Was the simple soup sharing a kind of lower-case communion? I believe it was, and I venture to say that those little communal moments sustain us in between our Sacramental Communion moments at Mass. During the dark days of the winter season, it’s more important than ever to share some moments of communion, whether it be over a cup of coffee with someone or chatting with the neighbors outside while shoveling the ever-falling snow. Perhaps with the new year almost upon us, we can make more of an effort to linger a bit wherever we are, including the church gathering room after Mass. Let’s slow things down a bit, and be mindful of these sacred, shared moments TOGETHER.