In From the Vine

By Emily Cavins

Traditional Loaf by Joan of Manchester via Flickr Creative Commons. CC BY 2.0

 

This year has been a year of downsizing for our family. My mother sold her big house, and so countless items had to find new homes as her apartment could only hold so much. Now my husband and I are downsizing and selling our home of twenty years. As I recently stripped off the kitchen wall paper (the realtor said it must go!) I had time to ponder the years that had passed in my kitchen. Our youngest two girls have only memories of this house, so many photos have that fruit and vine pattern wallpaper in the background.

So many daily tasks have occurred in my kitchen that was once decorated with blue and white items and a flock of roosters, which are now for sale on the shelves at the Goodwill. Daily dishes, daily meals, daily hellos and goodbyes.

Next, I sorted through the cupboards and lo and behold, there was the long dormant bread maker. That trusty machine had kneaded many a loaf for our family over the years until my husband and I went low carb and quit eating bread. I can’t say that I made daily bread, but enough of it to have made the machine worth its while.

Daily bread is the topic of the gospel reading today. We ask the Lord for this each time we pray the prayer he taught us. I came across a wonderful passage in the Catechism #2837 that quotes from a sermon by St. Peter Chrysologus on this passage from John 6. “[Christ] himself is the bread who, sown in the Virgin, raised up in the flesh, kneaded in the Passion, baked in the oven of the tomb, reserved in churches, brought to altars, furnishes the faithful each day with food from heaven.”

When we look at bread with the understanding of the whole process from seed to harvest to production and delivery, we realize that each bite of bread is so much more than just a piece of bread. So too is the living bread that came down from heaven. Each time we receive this gift, it is more than bread. It contains the whole story of salvation culminating in the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of the Son of God. That is a mouthful! No wonder Jesus calls himself the Bread of Life. The beginning and the end.

And to top it all off, the Church provides this bread on a daily basis. We are free to partake of it every day. This is a marvelously generous gift that the Church offers us so that we need never to go hungry.

Although my bread machine will end up at the Goodwill soon, the good memories and the nourishment I received from it are still a part of me. My wallpaper pattern and matching home décor will also be part of the memories of what will soon be “our old house.” Daily life will begin in another kitchen and life continues.

Each day in the life of the Church, the Bread of Life will be offered to us. In God’s kitchen, He prepares all the nourishment we need, so eat as often as you can and invite others who are hungry to come to the table of plenty.

 

About the author:

Emily Cavins received her BA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Minnesota and has participated in several excavations in Israel. She is a tour leader of annual pilgrimages to Israel and other Bible related destinations with husband Jeff Cavins. www.jeffcavins.com In her most recent work, A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Holy Sepulchre and Golgotha in Jerusalem, E

mily has written a guide to aid pilgrims in unraveling the mystery of the current Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which at first visit seems to be a confusing mixture of structures and rooms unlike any church ever visited. This pilgrim’s guide uses illustrations to show each phase of the Tomb of Christ and Golgotha from the First Century through the Crusader Era. The Great Adventure Storybook: A Walk through the Catholic Bible introduces children and educators to salvation history and makes a vital link between the Bible, Mass and the Catholic Faith. Gen2RevCatholic.com. You can see more of Emily on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmilyToblerCavins/ or at Catholic Family Night: www.catholicfamilynight.com

Showing 12 comments
  • Jane
    Reply

    Emily, I’m sure that it is hard to think of moving and all of the wonderful memories that have accumulated over the years and I wish you and Jeff the best. Thank you for always being so faithful and we are so blessed to have you both in Jesus’ One True Church; the Catholic Church! +JMJ+

    • Emily
      Reply

      Thanks so much!

  • Elizabeth
    Reply

    What a wonderful insights into the Eucharist. Thank you for sharing and enjoy your new home.
    Elizabeth

  • Kelly Wahlquist
    Reply

    Great post, Emily! Thanks for sharing and continued blessings on the big move!

    • Emily
      Reply

      Thanks!

  • Anne LaRose
    Reply

    My husband & I, 6 yrs. ago did what you are doing & it was an awesome feeling of freedom letting go things I no longer needed. We also had such wonderful memories raising our 4 children in the house of 20 yrs. Now I try to keep some of my favorite memories tucked away in my mind.

    • Emily
      Reply

      It’s a process, but well worth it. Thanks for your comment! God Bless

  • Kitty Cleveland
    Reply

    Loved this, Emily! I’m going to the Holy Land this March for the very first time, and I am beyond excited. I recently discovered that my English 20th great grandfather, Fulk V, was part of the first Crusade and was made King of Jerusalem in1131 till his death in 1143. He is buried in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and I saw that you have a new book about it! Do you happen to know if his tomb is marked? I’d love to see it!

    • Emily
      Reply

      Hi Kitty–That’s an impressive lineage! I don’t believe anyone is actually buried there anymore, but there are markers for a few of them. There is one outside the door and one on the inside that I know of, but I don’t recognize that as one of the names. Be sure to ask your tour guide about it and if they don’t know, ask them if they can ask someone else for you. Keep prodding–someone will know. I hope you are able to spend enough time there to find out. Also, if you know anyone who is a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre they may be more in the know. Most of my studies are pre-Crusader era structures. Even so, you need a copy of my book to make the most of your visit to the site. Send me your address and I’ll mail you a booklet.

  • Lindalee Miller-Nelson
    Reply

    Love the way you used a loaf of bread to visualize all the goodness of the Lord. Happy trails on your new adventure. Good luck to you and Jeff. I know you will make it fabulous!

    • Emily
      Reply

      Thanks!

  • Kathy
    Reply

    Emily, I loved this post. I especially liked the quote from St Peter Chrysologus in the Catechism. What a rich description of John 6.
    Best wishes to you and Jeff as you begin this new adventure in your lives. John and I are doing the same.

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