Community July 17
Community meals should be seen as special opportunities to experience and further the spirit of fellowship (Const. 19.2).
The table gives a consistent rhythm for assembling the family and promoting its formation. The offering of sacrifices of adoration to God in the history of religions had a meal dimension. The Passover of the Jews began with a meal and that meal is commemorated every year. Hospitality is often exercised by an invitation to the table. The Jewish messianic expectation was envisioned as a banquet of tasty foods and fine wines. Jesus sat often at table as a gesture of friendship (Bethany) or solidarity (house of Levi). The inauguration of his Passion took place at table and its efficacy is always realized at the Eucharistic Banquet. At the final hour, Jesus will knock and, if anyone hears his voice and opens the door, he will enter and eat together with that person. At the table of religious, we find formation, sharing and relaxation. There we pray, organize life, discuss ideas, share sorrows, resolve conflicts, encourage one another, give counsel, welcome guests, laugh and even do penance. At community meals, we are nourished on many levels. Times at table are privileged moments for the formation of the community and everyone at table is there as a formator.
A young man is not killed by hunger but rather by lack of friendship. (Burundi)