One Sunday in August I was driving to church and listening to NPR's Speaking of Faith, Christa Tippet. She was interviewing Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow and Children of God. It has been a long time since I read these books and I got them both from the library to reread.
In August of lectionary year B we read from Jesus' teaching on the meaning of the feeding of the 5000 and his assertion that he is the bread of life. Here at St. Mark's we reflectioned on the John passages and on the Eucharist. Russell, who was raised a Roman Catholic and left the church at age 15, becoming an atheist, converted to Judaism as an adult. In The Sparrow, she has a short passage on the Eucharist. The speaker is Emilio Sandoz, a Jesuit priest.
'Consider the Star of David,' he said quietly. 'Two triangles, one pointing down, one pointing up. I find this a powerful image - the Divine, reaching down, humanity reaching upward. And in the center, an intersection, where the Divine and human meet. The Mass takes place in that space....I understand it as a place where the Divine and the human are one. And as a promise, perhaps. That God will reach toward us if we reach toward Him, that we and our most ordinary human acts - like eating bread and drinking wine - can be transformed and made sacred.'"
The interview can be heard at http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2009/novelist-as-god2/