Due to technical difficulties, there is not video or audio recording of the sermon “Fed by Wisdom” as preached on 19 August 2018, but here are a few ponderings.
Author Dan Brown writes of Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor and famed symbologist who often become intertwined in elaborate adventures. The third novel is The Lost Symbol, which incorporates the Masonic Temple instead of the Roman Catholic Church. This passage is a flashback as being recalled by Langdon.
“Professor Langdon,” called a young man with curly hair in the back row, “if Masonary is not a secret society, not a corporation, and not a religion, then what is it?”
“Well, if you were to ask a Mason, he would offer the following definition: Masonary is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.”
“Sounds to me like a euphemism for ‘freaky cult.’ ”
“Freaky, you say?”
“Hell yes!” the kid said, standing up. “I heard what they do inside those secret building! Weird candlelight rituals with coffins, and nooses, and drinking wine out of skulls. Now that’s freaky!”
Langdon scanned the class. “Does that sound freaky to anyone else?”
“Yes!” they all chimed in.
Langdon feigned a sad sigh. “Too bad. If that’s too freaky for you, then I know you’ll never want to join my cult.”
Silence settled over the room. The student from the Women’s Center looked uneasy. “You’re in a cult?”
Langdon nodded and lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “Don’t tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood flesh.”
The class looked horrified.
Langdon shrugged. “And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion.”
The classroom remained silent.
Langdon winked. “Open your minds, my friends. We all fear what we do not understand.”
The Lost Symbol (pp. 37-38), Dan Brown
Similar to Langdon’s students, the crowd listening to Jesus’ teaching was offended, shocked, and possibly fearful because they did not understand.
The crowd (and us included) seek to understand this teaching of consuming the body and blood of Christ (the Eucharistic Mystery) with our intellect and reason, for we are called to love God with all our mind, heart, and soul.
Note: We are never called to leave our intellect and questions at the door.
Unfortunately, such mysteries are not understood by intellect and reason (alone) but by a wisdom that can only be reached through the divine, through the work of the Holy Spirit.
When we are invited by “lady Wisdom” to the table, in order to fed by said wisdom, and partake in the body and blood of Christ we gain further insight/wisdom, we are nourished, we are strengthened, and we are sent forward by that mystery to love and serve all people, all creatures, and all creation.
May we always accept the invite, seek the insight/wisdom, and be nourished to serve.