I don't mean to brag, but we eat a lot of leftovers in this house. Don't get me wrong, none of them are Pinterest-worthy. I blame it on my work-study job in the school cafeteria, and my days of 'gleaning' groceries at their pull date to feed a large volunteer group. I can work with just about anything in our refrigerator that will nourish us for another day.
This is not always popular, but it is economic, and I do rest in the relief of having saved something from being needlessly thrown away.
Actually, I thrive on it.
Compost. Seeds. Leftovers. (Lent)
Just Wednesday, we stood in line once again, reminded of our finiteness. Somber for sure, especially as I watch my children's ash-smudged faces before me, over our soup supper. Such a striking contrast: Life & death. And yet, I have come to rely on these images of resurrection that remind me that even when all appears futile, lost, broken, and bruised, God is not in the business of letting our fragments go to waste. (John 6: 1-12).
Word and sacrament--Scripture and Eucharist--transform my midweek leftovers. They transform me from a mindless consumer into someone capable of Eucharistic interdependence and gratitude. They teach me to receive these leftovers--and all of life--as a gift.
And yet they also serve as a judgement on my meal, a call to repentance for the systems of scarcity and injustice that I perpetuate in my average day. They call me to work toward a new way of being--and eating--that allows me to better know, love and serve my neighbors. They challenge me to empty myself for others, knowing that I will be filled to the brim over and over again in the abundant economy of worship. In Christ there will always be,enough for us, with so much left over.
We are endlessness in need of nourishment, and nourishment comes, usually, like taco soup. Abundant and overlooked. -Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary
So, in the only way we know how, we gather 'round to be marked by our mortality once more--participants in the unfolding mystery of a little becoming enough; that which has been spent, being raised to new life.
In this spirit, we imitate Love itself. This paradoxical living invites us to add chairs to the table, a little more broth to the pot. We are reminded in a thousand little ways, like the Gospel reading for today when St. Matthew tells his disciples, 'For I was hungry and you gave me food,I was thirsty and you gave me drink,a stranger and you welcomed me,naked and you clothed me,ill and you cared for me,in prison and you visited me.’
Seen in this way, the sacrifices we offer this season feel more like opportunities to glimpse once again, the ways in which our meager offerings are anything but wasted. How important it is to be reminded of this! Bring all that you can offer, and it will be more than enough.
Speaking of Lenten practices, I'm sharing on the Blessed Is She blog today, on opportunities to share our faith with our own children, and all children of God.
"Whether you read this as a brand new God-mama to your infant nephew, as a mother of a lapsed Catholic, child caretaker of an agnostic parent, spouse of a non-believer, grandmother to a child(ren) growing up in a home that is no longer practicing their Faith, or the lone holdout of your “cradle Catholic” family…it is important.I’ve been giving this a lot of thought because there is so much to know about our Faith and Tradition. It is simultaneously simple and mind-bendingly complex..." keep reading.