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‘what do you do for fun?’

Jan 28

Written by:
1/28/2018 12:00 AM  RssIcon

I’m not sure why, but I continue to be surprised by the awesomeness of the Lord. I’m writing this later than I normally do because of the preparations I had to make for the Fortieth Anniversary Celebrations that happened over the past weekend for St. John Neumann. When Fr. Leo reached out to me and suggested coming here and being a part of the celebrations, I had no idea what to expect. I knew he was high energy, but wowzers, he even stunned me!

His joy for life in infectious, and his cooking skills are terrific! Yet, he could tie it all back to the beauty and power and truth of the Gospel. A little ingredient step as simple as adding salt to a dish becomes a great reflection on how Jesus desires to spice our life! 

As I have thought more about the whole baking process, this was a challenge that Fr. Leo gave to me in a one on one conversation: how do I relate all of what I’ve been through over the last year or so to the spread of the Gospel?

I was not too fond of this question, I have to admit, because it has started to keep me up at night!

But my first thoughts were about bread, because that’s how I got into this whole process! And when I think of bread, gluten is such an important part of what makes bread so tasty. Gluten is the mix of proteins that stretch out to give bread that elasticity and allows those big air pockets to form in certain types of bread.

It naturally forms in wheat flour (and a few other types of flour as well), but it doesn’t have that elasticity as needed. Once the bread has been mixed, it requires kneading to really work that dough, to stretch that gluten; otherwise you just get one big lump of blandness!

Yeast works much the same way, too. When I first started at Corpus Christi, I was asked by a parishioner: ‘what do you do for fun?’ After a minute of thought, my reply was pretty simple: ‘I make fun environments for yeast to do interesting things!’ After all, the baker makes the dough, the yeast makes the bread!

And there is always a little bit of a step out in faith when you add the yeast and set that kneaded lump of dough into a warm spot to let it rest and raise: ‘will it work?’ Most of the time, it does. But every once in a while… Nothing seems to happen. (I made a challah loaf at my parent’s over Christmas that I thought I lost due to non-raising; but a half hour by the fire place alleviated my fears!)

I think of how Jesus works on us, too. So often, we have this small and incremental growth of letting him both knead the sin out of our lives so that we can be stronger in Him. At the same time, he plants those little seeds of yeast that help us grow in hidden and unseen ways.

Maybe we have had a struggle with sin that weighs down that yeast and stops it from growing like it should, so we bring in a little warmth from the community and the grace of the Sacraments, etc., and we are back to life and back to growing.

There is certainly a lot more for me to reflect upon and grow upon as I think back on the joy of the celebration last weekend and the whole experience this has brought me. I’m not yet sure where it will go, but the over riding lesson remains the same: never doubt the providence and care of God!

God Bless
Fr. Kyle Schnippel

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