Leftovers were a big part of my life when i was growing up. Even to this day, I notice that I am mindful of preserving the leftover food from dinner to stretch it out to a 2nd or even 3rd  meal. Wasting food was not an option for my family since there were too many mouths to feed. Food was considered as something special from God. I am sure that many of you who are reading this column can relate to this from your own experience. I’ll bet that if guests or relatives dropped by for a visit, even unannounced, there always seemed to be enough food to go around. Looking back, I often wondered how my grandparents and parents provided for a large family yet at the same time welcomed so many guests to the table? My family was not wealthy, yet we believed we were rich in hospitality through sharing what we had. Looking back now I believe that the multiplication of the 5 loaves and 2 fish by Jesus in today’s Gospel is an event that shaped our spirit of hospitality. My grandparents and parents were so kind and welcoming, they would even put less food on their own plate so that the guests would have more than themselves. They trusted that somehow a visitor would bring some extra bread or produce as a way to say thank-you! In short, through faith they knew that their scarcity of food would be transformed into abundance if they trusted that God would provide. And God certainly did! Here at our parish, we too have had a time of scarcity. As you realize, we haven’t been able to enjoy our fundraisers such as the “Fall Festival” because of the pandemic. Somehow, we are surviving financially, because of your generosity and our working together. So, we are going to have a special fundraiser starting in September called the Month of Gifts Raffle.  We will be using some of the Fall Festival gifts we have been storing, and raffle them off for a prize. More information will be given to you next week, but I just wanted to give you a heads-up because I know how generously you will respond. Again, we are reminded in today’s Gospel of Jesus’ hospitality based upon His trust of His Father’s providence. It turned out that He turned a humble meal of five barley loaves and two fish into a banquet for the multitude of people. I am sure that Jesus and His disciples had plenty of leftovers to take home with them. We can learn from this event that if we trust in Jesus’ presence, our own generosity will be transformed into great abundance for all. We are all hungry these days, not only for food, but for joy and community. Let us here at Blessed Sacrament help how we can, by sharing of our generosity through participating in our upcoming fundraiser!               ~ Fr. John

 

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