Many of you probably know that one of my “dreams” when the parish first began in 2016, and I was named pastor, was to reach out to the greater community in a special way by providing a free lunch once a month to whoever wanted to attend. We are called to reach beyond ourselves and our boundaries and be present to others, and in doing so we bring Christ to them. Last weekend we read the Gospel of Jesus feeding the 5000 with barley loaves and a few fish. Among the many aspects that we can learn from this Gospel, which is repeated six times in the four Gospels, is that we, the community, are called to feed those who are in need. Jesus didn’t ask them who they were, what their needs were, where they came from or what they believed. He just wanted to give them something to eat.
In September, St. Mary Cause of Our Joy will begin having a free lunch for everyone in our community. It is not just for the poor, or the homeless. Anyone who may want to attend is welcome. No questions asked; no donations required. Just come and eat and spend a little time with others. People who live alone and may want a little bit of company once and a while may want to attend. People who drive old, beat-up cars and brand new, shiny ones as well. Or maybe those who have no car at all.
We are called to reach out and care for others. This is one way we can do so. Under the guidance of Paul, Sabrina and Steve, we will be gathering a team of leaders who will coordinate the lunch every month, which will take place on the fourth Thursday of the month beginning at 12:00 noon. Those people will then ask for volunteers from amongst our parish members and others as well. We will need help to cook, set up, serve, clean up, to bake desserts and maybe just to be here and greet our guests and make them feel welcome. You can volunteer just once, or once every few months or every month.
By looking outward and not inward, we will see the presence of God in the eyes of others. Please help us make this endeavor a success. Evangelization takes on many forms, and this is one of them.