Jesus interacted with the people around Him, often using food as a gathering point or means to establish community. How can we emulate Jesus to create community in our own lives?
Jesus broke bread with His disciples, fed the crowds by multiplying bread and fish, and ate at the houses of tax collectors and sinners. He didn’t do these things by Himself. Quite the opposite!
Jesus ate with others.
Why did Jesus spend so much time eating food?
Let’s step back.
Have you ever noticed that people tend to gather around food? In college, any mention of food sends hungry freshman running to the event. At neighborhood parties, groups of people huddle around the food table. When inviting people over to your house, it’s basically rude to not have some form of food to offer them.
Jesus, the all-knowing Son of God, understood the power of food. He knew that by offering fish and loaves of bread, He could attract that many more people.
Jesus used food to evangelize. Now “evangelize” can be a heated word, but Jesus didn’t think of it that way. He offered a meal to the lost so that He could sit down with them and tell them about the Father in heaven.
When Jesus was on earth, formal churches didn’t exist. Instead, Jesus gathered with people in their homes, to eat a meal, and celebrate their faith.
Fast forward to today. We go to church each Sunday (and maybe some weekdays too) to celebrate Mass. And Mass is beautiful.
But we don’t always remember the initial sense of community that Jesus established.
Mass is sooo important. But it can leave us isolated from one another.
That’s why we’re called to do more than just go to mass each week. That’s why Jesus didn’t just break bread with His disciples. He ate with everyone.
And He wants us to follow his example. To meet with friends and strangers. To talk about our faith, create authentic relationships, and share in His love.
Recall the familiar verse from Corinthians: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
The importance of love is emphasized all over the bible. From God loving the world and giving us Jesus, to Paul reminding the Corinthians to love.
We weren’t left in the dust to blindly figure out how to love. Jesus showed us!
Jesus gathered with His disciples in the upper room, He engaged with large crowds and fed them bread and fish, and He met tax collectors and sinners in their homes and shared a meal.
This is how Jesus loved. And this is how He calls us to love.
It might be scary (it is for me), but it doesn’t have to be complicated–use food.
The possibilities are endless!
a daughter of the Lord who eats lots of plants. I’m glad you’re here! On The Plant-Based Catholic I bring you nutritious, plant-based (vegan) recipes, explore the relationship between food and faith, and share my unique lifestyle.
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