News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool
In preparation for Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage, Father Joe Kendall is offering a series of reflections on Eucharistic themes.
I have to watch my step at the back of church these days. If I’m not careful that odd bag of pasta or tin of beans that sits on the floor as the huge excess to the boxes used to collect food for a local foodbank will prove a dangerous trip hazard.
It all started a few months ago now. It was a simple idea, but a good idea, that originally went along the lines that people could take the opportunity to leave items at church and every few weeks one of our SVP volunteers would take them down to the local foodbank. Such has been the generosity of parishioners that those generous and hard-working SVP members, and others, have been making much more frequent trips and looking for other grateful recipients, such as the sisters in Seel Street.
Why has this simple scheme grown out of all expectation when there are other, often much more convenient ways to give to foodbanks and other charities? I can only guess that people are making the link between what they receive in coming to church and what that is calling them to see round about them and doing something about it.
At Mass we receive food for the journey. We know this as the journey of faith: that which began at Baptism and that which we pray will take us into God’s presence in heaven. God has always provided for his journeying and often weary people. He gave the ancient Israelites wandering the desert manna from heaven. While in a lonely place, Jesus gave the multitudes all that they could eat and more from the very little that had been brought with them. These events we see as a foretaste of the food for the journey that we enjoy now in the Church: the Eucharist.
We might do well to take a moment to thank God for all that we have received, materially and in prayer. All that we have faced in our lives we did not face alone. Always God’s strength and God’s love were at work in our hearts even when, and perhaps especially when, we did not know it at all. We can pray for those for whom the journey is hard. But we can pray too that God’s strength and love will be at work in our hearts to make us bread broken for others, bringing the nourishment of God’s love to the weary and downcast.