Food and Community

I love how Jesus was always eating. Many of the Gospel stories revolve around Jesus and his disciples sharing a meal together. He ate with tax collectors and sinners. Today’s Gospel starts with the words, “After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them.” So even after the resurrection, when food presumably would not be necessary anymore in his resurrected body, he eats breakfast with his friends. 

Why all this emphasis on food? Well, the Old Testament speaks of manna that helped nourish the Israelites in the desert, the Bible ends with the banquet feast of the bride and bridegroom, and right at the center of the Gospel is the living food that comes from heaven. It would seem that food is a huge part of God’s plan for humanity. 

Food brings people together. It strikes the perfect balance between something we enjoy and something we actually require for life. We literally can’t live without food. I think Jesus probably had this in mind when he gave us the Eucharist. He gave us his very life and love through the appearance of bread and wine. He not only comes to us as food, but just like with the tax collectors and sinners, he meets us where we need him and are comfortable to approach. 

Jesus could have left us his body in raw form, bones and blood and all, but he didn’t. Just like how in today’s Gospel he gives Peter three chances to affirm his love, after denying him three times, he meets us where we are at and allows us to consume him through the food we are comfortable with. This is essentially true of all the sacraments; they are visible familiar signs that communicate a real grace in our lives. 

So how can we take some of this and apply it to our lives this week? Well, we are officially in barbecue season. The smell of burning charcoal and a plethora of sauces is in the air. I was thinking the other day how I want to make some barbecue for our neighbors. We have lots of families around us with lots of kids and I think it would be fun to pull the grill up to the street and make some food for everyone. Maybe you could have some friends from Church over or even invite one of your pastors to enjoy a meal. Whatever the case, I am going to try to use food to bring people together in community and bring them closer to Christ. Let’s all think about a way this summer we can use food to evangelize and hopefully bring people closer to the true food that has come from heaven. The worst that can happen is that you enjoy a great meal with new people. Happy Eating!

From all of us here at Diocesan, God bless!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is a Business Development Representative for Diocesan. In this role he is committed to bringing the best software to dioceses and parishes while helping them evangelize on the digital continent. Tommy has worked in various diocese and parish roles since his graduation from Franciscan University with a Theology degree. He hopes to use his skills in evangelization, marketing, and communications, to serve the Church and bring the Good News to all. His favorite quote comes from St. John Paul II, who said, “A person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.”

Feature Image Credit: Alexandru-Bogdan Ghita,