There were a number of beautiful photographs taken at the Sunday Liturgy “at the lake” (a.k.a. @ Paul and Bill’s house) last week. One scenario that wasn’t photographed but was a poignant moment for me took place while I was distributing Holy Communion. With subtlety and smoothness, Paul and Bill’s dog, Gavin, inserted himself into the line to receive the holy sacrament. (I wish I had had some doggie cookies to give him. Sadly, I had to send him back to his daddy, but I wonder what Francis of Assisi would have done?)
Of course the puppy just saw food being distributed and probably said to self: “Hey, why not?” That’s what doggies do, right? But in my mind, what was played out was the recognition that in this special food, given as a gift from Christ, we partake of “the bread of life.” Gavin saw what the Christian humans were doing, and saw that it was good. I think he intuited (and, yes, I believe dogs do this!) the words of Jesus that “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life within you.” Gavin saw a moment to be fed spiritually as well as physically. He acted out of love. He craved this gift! Perhaps he has much to teach us.