A meal shared among friends is a lovely thing to enjoy. Be it a fancy feast with charcuterie or just a laid back barbecue, it is wonderful to eat with loved ones. We are reminded in the gospels, however, that this is not the only type of meal we are supposed to share in.
When we hold a lunch or a dinner, Jesus encourages us not to invite our “friends or brothers or sisters… in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.” Instead, Jesus calls on us to invite “the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind,” and in turn, He tells us we will “be blessed indeed.” (Luke 14:12). Sometimes, the poor and crippled are just poor college students with crippling student loans who need a warm meal that tastes like mom’s.
Over the past few months, the women of Saint Paul’s Outreach Arizona have open their home and invited women from campus to share a meal together. The result has been life giving - and very delicious! As the weather has cooled down to a moderate 85 degrees, the backyard at the women’s house has proved the optimal location for an evening dinner (provided the mosquitoes don’t eat us alive). As the meal unfolds, we see one another as neither guest nor hostess, but as fellow sojourners on this walk with Christ. We share laughter and joy, provide comfort and encouragement, and share with one another the gift of sisterhood. Blessed indeed are we!