“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him. The people who give you their food give you their heart.” ~ Cesar Chavez
I have been on vacation almost two weeks now. I am on a transatlantic cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas. I return to the parish on Saturday. A big part of many people’s cruise experiences is partaking in specialty restaurants as well as all the free food venues on board.
Food is joy for so many people and nations. Food is blessing, food is warmth, food is friendship, food is promise. That is one of the reasons that so many nations do all that they can to help any country experiencing a famine. They know that food means much more than just sustenance. Food, in one sense, is everything.
If you can appreciate the value of food and of sharing food with others, I believe you can have a deeper appreciation of the Eucharist. God knew the value and promise of food as well. Throughout the Old Testament, we hear stories of how God provided food for the Israelites. Manna from on high, quail covering the ground, and other such images of an overabundance of food brought promise to God’s people.
In the New Testament, Jesus is seen at meal often. There, He is curing the sick, raising the dead, blessing newlyweds, and a whole host of other things. Jesus provided richly for His people. That is why the Last Supper is so rich in symbolism. At a meal, Jesus gives us His Body and Blood as food for the journey.
If we cannot appreciate the very basics about food and meals, we will not be able to appreciate the great sacrifice made for us by Jesus.
FAITH ACTION: If you have an opportunity, go to a church and spend some time in front of the tabernacle or, if an adoration chapel is nearby, in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Thank Jesus for the gift of His Body and Blood, nourishment on the way to the Kingdom.