Filipinos just love food. We need only the smallest of excuses to get together and share food with friends, families, and in many instances even with complete strangers. When our kids were growing up, we lived in a condo complex with other couples with children aged just like ours. The children of course played together while the parents ate together. Even when there was no special occasion, we would call for an ‘eat-out’ which meant bringing out whatever we had prepared for dinner and sharing it it with all the rest in the common area. It was fun and it bonded us forever as friends.
Filipinos probably celebrate more fiestas than any other nation on earth. We probably have he most holidays among all the countries. And each fiesta and each holiday is always an eating marathon. Eating around Manila is always an adventure. You will find a restaurant catering to all kinds of cuisine. There are always new restaurants cropping up regularly and they are almost always full. Food builds communities. It makes friendships stronger. It heals broken relationships. It forges new ones.
Christ also loved food. Among the images He used to describe the Kingdom of Heaven is that of a banquet. He loved to eat with people and He went out of His way to visit their houses and ‘break bread’ with them. And the most beautiful remembrance He asked us to do in His name was the ‘breaking of the bread’. As the Risen Lord, He asked the apostles and disciples to eat and share a meal with Him.
The Lord, in His marvelous ways, always takes the most ordinary things and transforms it into something sacred and divine. And isn’t it exciting that heaven will be a feast!
Lord, let your face shine on us.
~ Psalm 4
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread.
While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.