Wednesday, April 29, 2009

God and Bread

I found out about this quotation today from Mohandas Gandhi:

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.

This is a good reminder to us of the following:

  1. We have an important obligation to help our less fortunate brothers and sisters. As James reminds us, "If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead." (James 2:15-17)
  2. When it comes to evangelization, we need to learn what people need and feed them. The Catholic faith is a banquet; we should feed others from the table what it is they most hunger for, not necessarily what we most want to give them. One of my favorite expressions for evangelization is "one beggar showing another beggar where the food is."
  3. Finally, the Eucharist is God in the appearance of bread. The Eucharist is literally what Gandhi is describing here, although it is not what he had in mind. The world is so hungry for God, He comes to us as bread and wine, that our hunger might be fed and our thirst might be quenched.


the booklady said...

I like that, "one beggar showing another beggar where the food is."

It reminds me -- a little -- of a concept in spiritual direction (which in my case is still beggarhood) of 'meeting the person where they are'. All the great and lofty spiritual concepts/ideas/innovations in the world won't amount to anything until the person is ready and able to receive them.

Or is that what you mean?

Pete Caccavari said...

You are right. It is all about meeting people where they are. As a teacher, I have to remind myself of that. I think of it as a bridge from where the students are to where they need to be. I'm not going to finish that bridge, but hopefully I can start that bridge or add to it.