Dennis Crowley ’11

Jesus’ feeding of five thousand is such a powerful story that often we remember its many details—the crowd’s eagerness to listen, the anxiety of the disciples, Jesus’s gratitude and prayer over the food, and, of course, the voluminous leftovers! One detail, however, has always stood out to me: a young boy’s willingness to share his meal with the disciples that puts the whole miracle into motion.

As a high school teacher, I have supervised students on service opportunities in our southwest-side neighborhood. On a visit to a soup kitchen, I was struck by the commitment of one particular sophomore. Beforehand, I only knew this student in the classroom, but that evening I learned that he volunteered at the kitchen every week, fostering relationships with both the other workers there as well as the frequent visitors who arrived for meals. His enthusiasm was infectious, lifting the spirits and morale of the guests and inspiring everyone in our volunteer group (including me).

I share this story because I see a direct connection between this student selflessly sharing his time and the boy in the gospel who selflessly shares his food. Both actions can seem small, yet they brought huge amounts of hope and joy and also revolved around the sharing of food with strangers. There is something quite sacred in sharing a meal—in both today’s reading and the Last Supper, Jesus teaches his disciples (and us!) how food and fellowship bring sustenance.

This week, I ask myself how can I share my time and my gifts with those around me and in my wider community? How can I let Christ work through me to improve the world around me—one meal at a time? And, as I am reminded today, I never want to underestimate sharing food and companionship.