“He has filled the hungry with good things.”
I am not sure what Mary was thinking when she spoke these words in the presence of Elizabeth. The general context was praise for the good deeds of the God of Israel towards, and for, the people of the Covenant. There are many recorded incidents of “food” being available…just recently in the weekday readings, we recalled the great interaction between the widow preparing the last meal for her son and herself and the arrival of the grand prophet Elijah.
“Jar of meal shall not be spent,
Jug of oil shall not be emptied.”
The concept of the loving God caring for and providing “food for the journey” is never lost in the words of the Old Testament. Even in the midst of the awful deeds recorded, often so similar to what is before us in the Ukraine and in Myanmar at the moment, some understanding of “God will provide” remains and indeed shines forth.
A feature of true and complete Christianity is what we Catholics call the Eucharist. This truth raises the concept of food for the journey to an undreamed level. It is one thing and laudable to participate in Foodshare or night shelter programmes, but how do we feed the inner person?
The Eucharist, following the taking, blessing, breaking, and giving is our answer. Understanding the significance is a work of the lifetime. Whilst being committed to uttering “My Lord and My God” each time we receive, nonetheless our lack of understanding does not prevent us from benefiting by the reception.
Reception brings with it a further responsibility as the Twelve discovered in today’s incident; they are to do likewise! So too for us.
This unique act to complement fine words sets our faith apart. We humans need food for the body and spirit. Only then will we be on the path to satisfying our quest for union with the Good Lord. We are the people called to be today, “the someone who should do something about that”.
“Give them something to eat yourselves.”