I absolutely love when God’s love and our relationship with him are described in wedding terms. I especially love when those terms include food. Think back to the most delicious wedding reception you have ever attended. For me, it was my own. We found a place to cater our wedding that had the absolute best wedding food I have ever had. We had pulled pork sandwiches, chicken teriyaki skewers, and fancy mac and cheese. Instead of dry chicken and boiled vegetables, we had comfort food specifically because we wanted people to enjoy it and have a really good time.
The beauty of food is that it brings people together. We all have a favorite family recipe that we love to bring to events or family gatherings. We all have that Aunt or Uncle who is so good at cooking that they could start their own restaurant. We just celebrated the 4th of July. Have you ever noticed that every major holiday has a feast as the hallmark of the celebration? We come together around food.
It is no different with our communal relationship with Christ. The Mass is people from all different backgrounds coming together and sharing in a meal, but this meal does not leave us wanting more or hurting from overeating. This meal gives us eternal life. St. Francis de Sales once said, “When the bee has gathered the dew of heaven and the earth’s sweetest nectar from the flowers, it turns it into honey, then hastens to its hive. In the same way, the priest, having taken from the altar the Son of God (who is as the dew from heaven, and true son of Mary, flower of our humanity), gives him to you as delicious food.”
Jesus is our food and we can experience him here and now, but we also long for the fulfillment of the wedding feast of the lamb, we all long for heaven. Or at least we should. As Christians, we should groan in hunger for our future heavenly feast. If we don’t then perhaps we should fast more. This is something I want to do more in my life. Fasting allows us to feel hunger, and that hunger can remind us that we hunger to be perfectly united with God.
As we all rest from eating during the holiday, let’s try to make one tangible decision to fast in the hopes that we will be reminded of how much we hunger for God. This could be as simple as giving up salt on your meals for a week or something bigger like fasting every Wednesday and eating nothing but bread and water. You know where you are at in your relationship with God. What is going to help you take the next step towards God, the next step closer to the wedding feast where we will no longer hunger or thirst? From all of us here at Diocesan, God Bless!
Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.