Feed the hungry

Ivan Bandura
Feeding the hungry mouths at Euromaidan in Kiev

“Jesus said to 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.’” Matthew 25:35-36

There are many people I know or have known who struggle to recover from addiction and stay sober.

So when I opened the rectory office door to a young woman who greeted me with: “Hi! I’m a recovering addict and alcoholic!” — my spontaneous reaction was delight and a loud “Yay!”

“I know, hey?” she said with a smile that matched mine and made her eyes shine with godly brilliance.

She wanted to receive Communion. Had I known where the key to the Tabernacle was kept, I would have taken her to the chapel and served her. As it was, I invited her into the rectory and said to the priest, “This young lady would like to receive Communion.”

He barely acknowledged her and kept his eyes on his computer while he said, “I’ll meet you in the chapel in ten minutes.”

The light faded out of her face. She looked at him, assessing him, maybe judging him. “Thanks,” she said, “But it’s almost time for lunch. I have to go.”

At the door, I wished her well, sketched a Sign of the Cross over her, and made a silent prayer that she continue on the hard road of recovery.

Sometimes it is my failures to feed others that show me how to do better the next time. May I continue to have opportunities.

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