Happy New Year, A'teryx!
In St. John's gospel, when Jesus says he is the "bread of life", he
introduces the idea of the Eucharist, and also refers to the "manna in
the wilderness" story. The quail aren't as well known as the manna,
but they are part of the same story and fed Moses' people the evening
before the manna/bread appeared.
"Sarcophagus" is an extra allusion to the Eucharist, since it is
derived from the Greek words for "flesh" and "eat":
"The word comes to us from Latin and Greek, having been derived in
Greek from sarx, ?flesh,? and phagein, ?to eat.? The Greek word
sarkophagos meant ?eating flesh,? and in the phrase lithos (?stone?)
sarkophagos it denoted a limestone that was thought to decompose the
flesh of corpses placed in it. "
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
48 I am that bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat
thereof, and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat
of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give
is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this
man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except
ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no
life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life;
and I will raise him up at the last day.
11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto
them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall
be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.
13 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered
the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.
14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the
wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost
on the ground.
15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another,
It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them,
This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
"The primary liturgy of the Christian Church is the Holy Eucharist.
This Greek name means Thanksgiving and depicts the power, nature, and
the attitude of joyful, God-filled living. The rite is rooted in the
Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, the Feeding of the Multitude
by Lake Galilee, and the Eucharistic experience of the Early Church;
in conjunction with the ancient observance of Passover, when God saved
his people from slavery in Egypt and the miraculous feeding with
manna, quail, and water which followed."
"The Manna. This is one of the clearest symbols of the Eucharist in
the Old Testament and one that Jesus expressly applies to himself
(John 6:32?51). "
"Babbette [sic] herself is clearly a Christ-image, coming mysteriously
and humbly to live with the community, taking on the role of a
servant, finally giving all she has to provide a banquet in which the
most profound longings of the heart are answered and hungers filled.
Wine is poured out in excess. Bread quite literally mirrors manna in
the desert. The specialty dish of the Cafe Anglais, which is the
centerpiece of Babbette's meal, is a dish named "quail in a
sarcophagus." Quail being a form of manna and sarcophagus meaning
"flesh-eater," the film makes illusion to Jesus' discourse in John, "I
am the bread of life . . . this is the manna that comes down from
heaven . . . if you do not eat of the flesh of the Son of Man you will
not have life . . . " ("Babbette's Feast: A Religious Film," Wendy M.
Wright, Journal of Religion and Film, 1997.)"
I hope this explains things thoroughly.
Now I shall add seeing the film to my list of New Year resolutions.
Best wishes for 2005 - Leli
"bread of life" manna
manna quail Eucharist
manna quail Eucharist film