What do you do with leftovers? Oftentimes, certain types of food actually taste better the next day!! Leftovers are meant to be eaten, not wasted. But I must admit that frequently I end up throwing away food that I don’t want to eat or keep eating as leftovers. I figure that I can only have so many evenings of leftover meatloaf. Living alone makes meal preparation and the desire not to be wasteful very difficult.
Jesus makes it clear in the gospel NOT to be wasteful with leftover foods but to gather the leftovers in baskets. In our comfortable “first worlds” we have more food than we can even imagine: we have multiple grocery store from which to choose; we have as many restaurants that we can afford to visit; so much food is wasted, a reality we need to face.
So many in the world go hungry daily and just as many are not able to have a solid, nutritional diet. I take my ability to have as much found as I want for granted and am wasteful because I haven’t given sufficient reflection to my indifferent attitude. I’m finally learning to buy less and use the freezer.
Jesus saw that the multitudes of people were hungry and He responded by feeding them. We are called as followers of Christ to care about the hungry. We do this not only by providing beautiful nutritional hot meals, but by looking at our own lives and how much we eat and how much money we spend on food.
The Eucharist is our meal that unites us in our “hungers” to be compassionate, to help the poor, to count ourselves as poor in spirit. Maybe we need to actually eat meals with the poor, empowering them to serve us. Turning the tables is gospel living.