5: Hospitality & Food for the Journey
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord. Psalm 34:8
How many times a day do we find ourselves beginning a statement with the words, “I need___”? It’s a fairly common statement and as humans we have different needs and wants but one of the most basic needs we all share is the need for food. Food is essential for physical survival and it can be a very powerful tool for Catholic Evangelization and Hospitality. There is something inviting and comforting about sharing a meal that brings us together and gives us a common ground. Sharing food can be a powerful act of hospitality because it provides a connection and a genuine gesture of concern and friendship. Scripture is filled with references to sharing a meal, breaking bread or offering comfort and companionship through food and drink. The simple act of sharing food and meeting that basic human need serves as a vehicle to welcoming conversation and friendship that could quite possibly lead others to deeper faith, sense of community and parish life involvement.
As we consider parish events it’s easy to see meals and food as an extra detail and an extra expense but when you balance those investments against the positive outcomes that “feeding His people” create they are well worth the energy, time and expense. Offering food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty is a basic act of mercy that beautifully exemplifies the love of Christ himself. It’s something we are called to as Christians. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
*Offer bottled water and coffee/tea to those who visit your parish office. That simple gesture conveys the message that guests are valued and their comfort has been considered in advance.
*Include a simple meal with evangelization events at your parish. People are busy and time is precious so if a guest can come for a meal and a program they are more likely to attend. They might find it inviting to realize they don’t have to rush home, prepare a meal and then scoot back out the door and make it to an event on time.
*Consider offering opportunities to prepare and serve food and drink as a ministry in your parish. You may be surprised to discover there are parish members who would love the opportunity to help provide this important piece of hospitality.
Thank you for reading and may God bless you richly as you continue on this journey to Entertain Angels.
Adam Janke & Sheri Wolhfert