Since it’s my turn to write this week’s blog, I decided to do a Google search for observances during the month of November. I was delighted to see that one of my favorite comfort foods is observed in the celebration of National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month. As a child and as an adult, I’ve never grown tired of indulging my senses regularly with the creamy, salty flavor of a good spoonful or spread of peanut butter on toast, crackers, apples, etc. I can enjoy deliciously savoring this treat morning, noon, or evening.
November also marks the month for many other food observances from National Georgia Pecan Month, to National Pepper Month to National Raisin Bread Month, and Vegan Awareness Month. Also observed during this month are Good Nutrition Month and Hunger Awareness Month. These last two observances give us an opportunity to reflect on the need for good nutrition to sustain healthy lives and on the plight of hunger locally, nationally, and globally. Having worked in a food pantry stocking shelves, albeit only a short period of time, I remember feeling both saddened by this ongoing problem of so many people being hungry while also feeling inspired by those who volunteered countless hours to ensure that food was available to those in need.
As we approach the month of November, many of us look forward to celebrating our national holiday of Thanksgiving. Food is central to this celebration and brings people together to enjoy each other’s presence, to create fond memories, and to give thanks for all of life’s blessings. The harvest for so many of us is plentiful and for many it is not so plentiful. But, how much do we know about the problem of hunger locally? nationally? globally? One website that offers information about the problem and actions citizens can become involved in to address hunger is Feeding America.
Besides physical hunger, we can experience spiritual hunger also, a craving to know our God. Scripture is filled with many passages about food and food is often used in parables to convey a message or a point. Jesus, himself, uses food to say, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” (John 6:35) In the parable of the mustard seed Jesus compares the kingdom of God to that of a mustard seed, saying “When sown in the ground, it is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” (Mark 4:30-32) Paging through the four Gospels alone, you will find many headings related to food, often telling an important story about ourselves, Jesus, or the kingdom of God.
I hope this blog has ripened your senses and given you some “food for thought.”
If you hunger for a closer relationship with God and for community life as a religious sister, contact one of our Vocation Ministers.