In the Bible as in most cultures and peoples, meals have been a very important part of life, like the Passover, the Last Supper, the banquet of the bridegroom and even from the beginning when God told Adam and Eve that they could “eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you will not east, for on the day you eat of it, you will die.” (Gn 2: 16b – 17)
According to Tim Chester (author of A Meal with Jesus), meals expressed who were the insiders and who were the outsiders. The way Jesus did his meals was radically subversive as he dined with sinners and tax collectors. His meals were amazing expressions of the Good News.
The early Church, with prayer, corrected Peter’s initial refusal to eat with Gentiles. For meals are a central and powerful expression of community. However, they do not make community. It is the Gospel that does. It is the Gospel that makes communities work.
With whom have we dined lately? Was it an expression of love of Jesus and of the people sharing our meal? How can we make our meals an expression of the Good News like Jesus did?