In the Gospel for this coming Sunday (April 15), Luke recounts Jesus’ appearance to the disciples following his encounter with two of them along the road to Emmaus. As a way of showing his believers, once again, that he rose from the dead, he took a piece of fish and ate it in front of them (Luke 24: 42-43).
Only days earlier, he consecrated bread and wine as his sacred body and blood, offering everyone an eternal menu for salvation.
Recently, it has occurred to me that we are seeing that menu expanded through the examples of those who seek to live as Christ directed.
Lexi Meunier is a perfect example. She wanted to see Catholic Relief Services get food and water to as many people as possible through her participation in the annual Rice Bowl; so with Mom Cori’s help, she added S’mores cupcakes to that menu and raised hundreds of dollars for CRS.
Look around our diocese. Pay attention to the weekly Bulletin Board feature in The Message. Practically every week, it features an announcement from one of our parishes or parish ministries about some food-related event that serves as a fundraiser. And of course, it won’t be long until we hit the annual Parish Social Season.
These events serve as many of our parishes’ primary fundraisers, and food is at their hearts. Or wait until September, when the small Greene County town of Linton becomes the noodle capital of our 12 counties – maybe of the state – for one day as St. Peter Parish hosts its annual noodle dinner.
As I write these words, we’ve just come out of another time when food plays major roles in our parishes’ lives through all those Lenten fish fries.
Let’s return to Lexi Meunier, and the third-grader’s desire to do more than just save nickels and dimes for the Rice Bowl effort. Mom Cori told The Message that her daughter “has a big heart. She is a sweet girl.”
We all have learned, over time, that our various Catholic ministries and relief agencies are able to do a lot with a little. Can you imagine, then, what Lexi’s almost-$400 meant to those served by CRS?
Not to suggest it was like a miracle from our Savior, but her story truly did call to mind another passage of Luke’s Gospel. You’ll find it in chapter nine, when a few loaves and fishes fed thousands – with 12 baskets of leftovers.
Look around today. See the ways your friends, families, parishes, schools and other ministries are using food for good. How can you contribute to the effort moving forward?
Let’s all work to continue expanding salvation’s menu; and let us always start with the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus – available to us daily through the consecration of bread and wine by our priests.