Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rum Cakes and the Eucharist

Wednesday greetings from a cold and rainy city of Chicago. There is even snow in the forecast here for Friday!

As many of you know, I have been grieving the loss of my friend Mary, who died suddenly on Palm Sunday. Each year at Christmas, Mary would bake absolutely delicious rum cakes for families and friends; this was her Christmas tradition for decades. She baked two for me this past Christmas and had them shipped to my home in Chicago. I put one in the freezer and when I received word of her death on Palm Sunday morning, I realized that I still had this rum cake in my freezer.

Well, when I returned from Houston and Wichita late Saturday, I decided to defrost the cake and have a little late night snack before going to bed.

As I ate that piece of Mary's rum cake, I was instantly flooded with memories of my friend. The tears flowed freely. It was as if, with every bite of that cake, Mary was somehow present in my living room. And, as you could have guessed, I immediately made connections between that late night snack and the celebration of the Eucharist each week, when, in the eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ, Christ is made present to us through the gift of the Eucharist. This sense overwhelmed me as I continued to eat Mary's rum cake. When I went to Mass on Sunday, I was struck by the presence of Christ when I went to communion in a new way.

Thank you, Mary, for this posthumous gift, not only of your delicious rum cake, but for a new, or rather renewed insight into the meaning of the Eucharist for me.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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