It’s Simple.

Reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent by FAN Communications Coordinator, Janine Walsh
This reflection was originally posted in our February 15th newsletter.

In this week’s readings there was one phrase that stood out to me in Paul’s letter to the Philippians: “Their God is in their stomach.” A bizarre phrase, at first glance, but when I prayed on it something quite relatable was revealed to me in the following story titled, “It’s Simple.”
Once a man was having a conversation with the Lord,
“Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like,” he said.
The Lord led the man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. At the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the man’s mouth water. But the people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared famished. They were holding spoons with long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they couldn’t get the spoons back into their mouths. The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.
“You have seen Hell,” the Lord said.
Then they went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the man’s mouth water. The people had the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.
“I don’t understand,” the man said.

“It’s simple,” the Lord said. “In this place, the people have learned to feed one another.”

The ways in which this story relates to this week’s readings, along with the symbolism it offers, one could spend hours pondering it. For me, the story boils down to one simple message: Feed one another. Not just food, but faith.

In Paul’s letter, he talks to the Philippians about the ways in which we need to conduct ourselves, offering himself and the other disciples as examples. You can feel the emotion when he implores, “For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.” We have the ability to create Heaven here on earth if we only learn to feed one another as Paul and the disciples did. God wants our actions to be focused more on our brothers and sisters in Christ. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us to show our love for him, all we need do is “Feed my lambs” and “Take care of my sheep.” (John 21:15-17)

So rather than focusing solely on our own myopic world, we need instead to open our eyes to those in need. Pick them up, clothe them and feed them, not only food for their bodies, but food for their soul as well. We need to learn how to cooperate with those on the other side of the round table. It’s simple, you feed them and they will feed you.
As Mother Teresa said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other.”

Janine Walsh
FAN Communications Coordinator

Published in: on February 16, 2016 at 9:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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