There is a story about a family immigrating to the United States from Europe back in the days when the only way to cross the Atlantic was by ship. Most immigrants paid for the cheapest accommodations in steerage. That meant traveling in the bowels of the ship, typically with only the most basic amenities, with limited toilet use, no privacy, and poor food.
Aware of this, Mom made a lot of cheese sandwiches to tide the family over till they reached America and the hope of a new future. One day, the middle son just grew sick and tired of cheese sandwiches, and begged his Dad for a quarter so he could buy something else to eat.
He went off with his quarter, An hour passed, no son. Another hour passed, no son. Mom and Dad were getting worried. Finally he showed up, happy as can be. “Where were you?” they asked. “I was in the main dining roomthey have a seven-course buffet!!” Dad was aghast: “No way would a quarter cover that! What did you dosteal the food?” “No,” said the son. “I found out that the meal was included in the price of the ticket.”
Why this particular story? I believe it fleshes out the message that runs throughout this weekends Scripture Readings. Wisdom has laid out a banquet, and invites everyone to attend. “Forsake foolishness” she says, and live. The Psalm invites us to taste and see the goodness of the Lord as it manifests itself in every blessing that marks our day. These blessings save us from fear. Paul, in the Second Reading, encourages us to make the most of each day, in everything giving thanks and praise to God. The Gospel offers union with Jesus and his Father here and now and eternal life in the time to come.
So my question for reflection is this: Are cheese sandwiches enough for you? Is your time and energy and wealth focused on obtaining spiritual cheese sandwiches? Or would you rather have the banquet that is ours by right through our Baptism?