Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord. The hunger theme from the past weeks’ scripture readings continue this week. In the reading from I Kings, Elijah is fed by an angel. In the Gospel reading, Jesus reminds the Jews their ancestors were fed by God when they ate manna in the desert. Then, he reveals that he is the living bread given for the world.
In the past months of my new ministry as Director of Community Service here at St. Dominic’s, I have been amazed by this community where parishioners, neighbors and visitors come—from early in the morning until late in the evening—every day of the week! I believe that our great hunger for communion and community brings us to St. Dominic’s and I feel graced to witness the various ways in which we are fed and feed one another. It is the sharing of food, friendship, prayer and communion that keep us coming back again and again.
Last week, I reflected on material and spiritual hunger. Today, I am struck by ways in which this hunger moves us to action. In the first reading and the Gospel, the focus is on being fed—of being fed the manna and hearth cake and of being fed the living bread of Jesus. In St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he speaks to the Community of Ephesus where all share their bread with one another and partake of the Living Bread of Christ. After the feeding of these material and spiritual hungers, St. Paul calls this community to action and directs them to “be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving … be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love.”
As I consider these readings, I see how we at St. Dominic’s mirror the action of our spiritual ancestors by our daily actions in the parish and in our lives.
This week, we will come together in a variety of ways to feed our spiritual and material hungers. Parish members will come together to worship, to learn to pray with the saints, to gather with peers for friendship and community, to offer food and comfort at the Lima Center, and to go out to bring Christ to our neighbors in the Convalescent Hospitals, in detention and to those whom we meet in our daily lives.
This Thursday at the Hunger Banquet, we will focus on the physical hunger experienced by many in the Bay Area and throughout the world. Next Saturday, we celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the Lima Center where hundreds of homeless women and men have come for food and friendship over the years. In all of these activities I see how our hungers lead us to community and then to action. I see the ways in which our activities are rooted in the love of God and in the sharing of that love. I see how, together, we live out the directive from St. Paul to be kind, be compassionate and to live in love.
As I reflect on all the ways in which I have witnessed how the members of this parish live out this love, a variety of images come to me.
- I see the outreach of parish members visiting those who are ill in the hospital or at home—offering prayers, friendship, communion.
- I see parish members sharing their time, treasure and talents—in dancing, comedy and singing at the Coffee House organized for the past 25 years by the Young Adults Group.
- I see connections made in the greeting of one another at Mass and at the much longer than a “Coffee Minute” after the Sunday Masses, in the Docent tours, and in this week’s Youth Mission Possible experiences.
I reflect on the words from St. Paul and I am filled with joy as I review the past week and experience again the dedication, creativity and faithfulness of the St. Dominic’s Community.
In the next week, I encourage you to enter into these readings and to consider the words from today’s Psalm in which we are invited to Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord. Each day, take a “time out” to notice where you experience the love of God and where you are called to be the love of God for another. Who has shared God’s love with you this week? How are you being invited to share God’s love today?
~ Sr. Colleen McDermott, O.P.
Thank you for sharing your St. Dominic parish experience.
May God continue to bless your ministry.
“Only a few words from the Virgin Mary have come down to us in the Gospels. But these few words are like heavy grains of pure gold. When they melt in the ardor of loving meditation, they more than suffice to bathe our entire lives in a luminous golden glow.”
Bl. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein)