“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.”
~ Samuel Pepys
Probably still the one thing that can make people feel good about one another is having a meal together. Meals mark many important times/aspects of our lives: birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, marriages, sacraments, and friendships all are celebrated around meals.
Meals make us feel grounded. They make us feel normal. They make us feel safe.
Jesus knew this about us which is why, in today’s resurrection account, as He encountered a frightened group of disciples who thought that they had seen a ghost, he encouraged them to touch him (as ghosts have no physical appearance). Then, He invited them to give Him something to eat. Together, they dined. Only then did His followers feel comforted.
Many sociologists state that families appear to be falling apart because they no longer dine together. The days of the family supper are long gone for most people. Because of school schedules, work schedules, and extra-curricular activities, most families do not have a set time to be together. They see each other in passing. They do not have the time to share with one another.
The meal that Jesus shared with His disciples post-resurrection was very important because it gave everyone a chance to feel grounded again. They had a chance to visit, to share their feelings, and to remember their hopes and joys.
Even today, in our very hectic world, the image of eating together carries a lot of importance. It lets people know that we are, indeed, creating time for them and taking the opportunity to listen to them and to cherish our association with them.
The best meal that we can partake in is the Eucharist. Jesus gave us His Body and Blood so that we would have the spiritual nourishment that we need in our lives. However, we do not partake it alone. We receive Him in community. We gather with other believers to recount His life, death, and resurrection. In communion with one another, we receive Holy Communion. As one family, we celebrate with and nurture one another.
FAITH ACTION: Try to have a family meal together or a meal with good friends and make it a point to enjoy each other’s company and affirm each other.