From altar to table: Christ present there

From altar to table: Christ present there

Readings for the Third Sunday of Easter, Year B

About Liturgy

Let us continue our mystagogical reflection on the symbols of Easter. We see in today’s gospel the risen Christ ask for something to eat, and he eats what is prepared for him as a sign that he is not an apparition. He’s not a ghost or something the disciples imagined. He is truly present! He proves this at an ordinary dinner table, just as he proved it to the disciples on the road to Emmaus in the section just before today’s reading from Luke’s gospel.

What does this mean, then, about our own dinner tables? If the risen Christ has shown himself not only at the altar in the Eucharist but also in such ordinary places as a diner on the road or at a home dinner table, should we not treat the tables wherever we eat as sacred spaces as well? Whenever we prepare food and place it before someone to eat in our homes, do we see Christ present there, too?

This Easter season, honor the tables where you eat and the opportunity to see Christ present there. Use a tablecloth on your kitchen or dining table if you don’t already use one. Use your special-occasion plates, utensils, and glasses, for Easter is truly a special occasion! Commit to eating at least one meal at home each week, on Sunday if possible. Light candles, turn off the TV, set aside all electronic devices, and put on some nice music for these meals. Every time you eat, know that Christ is there with you.

Excerpt by Diana Macalintal from Living Liturgy: Spirituality, Celebration, and Catechesis for Sundays and Solemnities, Year B, 2018, by Brian Schmisek, Diana Macalintal, and Jay Cormier, published by Liturgical Press. Copyright © 2017, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. All rights reserved. Used with permission..
Image credit:, unsplash, CC0.

About Living Liturgy

If you enjoyed this short catechetical article of mine on liturgy, music, or the RCIA, I encourage you to check out the entire Living Liturgy 2018 resource because you will get so much more than just reading from my excerpts. Brian Schmisek and Jay Cormier did a fantastic job of providing a wealth of theological information, pastoral reflections, and practical resources for every Sunday and solemnity of the entire year. Not only do you get all the readings, opening prayers, and Gospel verses for every feast, but you also get scripture exegesis, homily points, psalm response reflections for your psalmists, liturgical preparation questions for all your liturgical ministers and catechists, a lector’s pronunciation guide, sample penitential act tropes, and intercessions, including the presider’s introduction and concluding prayer for those intercessions.

Breaking news!
Living Liturgy 2018 is a finalist for the Association of Catholic Publishers’ Excellence in Publishing Awards in the category of “Resources for Liturgy.”

I have been blessed to be part of this project that continues the good work begun by Sr. Joyce Ann and Sr. Kathleen and Liturgical Press, and I pray that our team’s contribution through Living Liturgy will help you every week of the new liturgical year.

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