We rate the success of any party by the quality of the food.  When Filipinos come home from a party, people ask: How was the food?  Was it plenty? Was it great?  Before we even rate the music, the decors, the games or the clothes worn, we think of the food. We love parties because there is sure to be food there.  And the food is free!

The Word of God invites us to salivate over the images of food in the readings today.  The first reading speaks of Isaiah’s invitation to the people of God returning from exile: you, who are thirsty, who are hungry but without money, come and drink, come and eat.  Come without paying! (the food is free!)  The gospel tells the story of Jesus feeding the more than 5,000 people in the miracle of the multiplication of loaves.  The letter of Paul to the Romans gives us the reason behind this generosity of God in giving food to his people:  nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Today, God continues to provide us food, to supply our needs. In the Bible, food represented abundance, blessings, bounty that flows from the goodness of the Lord. Food is not only about the blessings of bread, wine and rice. Today, this food is found also in the healing of the sick and the consolation of the wounded.  This food is the grace of perseverance and protection to those who trust in God. This food is the gift of prosperity and of victory over trials.

But there is a condition, the same condition that the readings make plain: one must come forward, one must approach the Lord to partake of his blessings and taste his abundance.  The word of Isaiah rings loud and clear:  Come!

I like the image of a table full of food.  It is there as an invitation, as a call, as an offering.  The food will not move of itself.  We must approach the table to sample the food. But there are people who will not be able to eat from the table – lazy people, shy people, proud people. I have talked to so many people who are poor and say that they have no time for God.  I have seen so many people who think they are too busy to pause awhile and pray. They have time for television, for going to the malls and for texting.  But they have no time to approach the table of blessings and abundance.  No wonder these people are undernourished spiritually, financially, morally or emotionally.  They ignore God’s call and in the end, forfeit their blessings.

Every Sunday, we gather at the table of the Lord.  This is where Jesus feeds us, for free. This is where he shares with us not any ordinary food, but his Body and Blood, the nourishment for eternal life. He does all this to manifest his undying love for all of us. If we come to his table, surely we discover what it means to have Jesus as companion and to share his abundance.

Those who are faithful in approaching the Lord in the Eucharist know what abundance flows into their lives.  Our lives may not be totally free from problems and concerns, but because we come to the blessing, nothing can drag us down or prevent us from overcoming every obstacle.  We have great food, powerful food that sustains us in our daily journey.  We have come today and we hear the Lord say:  Come and eat, come and drink.  Come and receive all my blessings.