We think about food a lot. Probably more than we even realize. We plan what we'll make for dinner later, daydream about lunch while sitting in class, grocery shop for an entire week at a time, make extra of a dish so that we can have the rest later ... and so on. We spend so much time getting ready for the event of eating that it is all too easy to skip giving thanks. In the United States, we have the entire holiday of Thanksgiving for this, but what about the rest of the year? How often do our families take the time to sit together and thank the Lord for what we are so fortunate to have before us?
As Holy Thursday goes on, Jesus knows the last time he will be able to sit at peace with his closest friends will be at dinner tonight --at the Last Supper. With this meal, Jesus gives us the Institution of the Eucharist. He takes this time while they are together and focused on the food to bless it, to make the very food that brings them together into an opportunity for prayer. The disciples may not know what this blessing means in its entirety, but they come to understand that Jesus is using this time with them to say something important, something that makes this dinner special and unlike any other they have had with him yet.
As such a vital part of every culture, Jesus knew that mealtimes could also be prayer times and would have the power to bring people together. And in all the ways food brings people together, praying over it can bring families closer as they share in God's gifts and grace. Make a mealtime special today, and know Jesus is praying over it with you.
About Kelly Sullivan
Kelly is a Marketing Assistant for Holy Cross Family Ministries in Easton, MA. She graduated from Stonehill College in May of 2018 and has been around the world and back. You can usually find her wherever there are doughnuts.