I want to announce some REALLY GOOD NEWS! But first, in light of the recent tragedies in Munich where 8 kids and 1 adult were killed, and in St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray where French priest Rev. Jacques Hamel was beheaded while he was celebrating Mass, I feel the pastoral need to make a connection between this horrible news and some news that can give us some hope.
German intelligence discovered how the killer in the recent Munich rampage hacked a young girl’s Facebook post to lure other kids to a McDonalds – where 9 people were killed. May their souls rest in peace, and may the God of all consolation bring healing to their families and friends. May God bring to justice any and all who kill humans in hatred or ambivalence, including innocent, unborn human life.
We can presume this killer’s mind has been poisoned with hatred, violence and other sorts of evil. According to reports, the killer was undergoing treatment for mental illness due to his obsession with mass killings. Unfortunately, he has been fed a healthy dose of bad news. His young, impressionable mind (he was 18) was “eating up” but not properly digesting (or discerning) the bombarding messages of violence and hatred. We have to remember that our minds are delicate, held in a balance by just a few hormones, nerve endings and mysterious memories.
When I heard that he advertised “free food” at a popular fast food restaurant to lure kids to their deaths, I saw the hand of the Evil One! Who else uses “Forbidden Fruits” to hurt us and force feed our souls with another bitter taste of terror?
Rev. Jacques Hamel, 85 years old, was beheaded on July 26, 2016 by 2 men supposrting ISIS.
And this past Tuesday, the beheading of Rev. Jacques Hamel took place during Mass, the Sacred Liturgy in which bread and wine are turned to Christ’s Body and Blood. Rev. Alexandre Joly, a priest from a nearby parish said, “It’s the moment when the priest is giving this act of love, that he is killed.” This shows how the Evil One does not want us to eat the food that leads to salvation.
What can stop this madness? For me, a priest and chef, I say the only remedy is a taste the truth. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord! (Psalm 34).
Jesus feeding the multitudes with the multiplication of loaves and fish (Matthew 14:13-21). (Image source: blog.memorycross.com)
It’s with this sad, but necessary commentary that I would like to point to a hope-filled occasion with food. I officially invite you to a most unique food experience in America.
Click the image to check out the official Olive Mass webpage and RSVP today!
The event is called The Olive Mass, an initiative of our non-profit organization The Table Foundation. Like the “White Mass” for Doctors, the “Red Mass” for Lawyers, and the “Blue Mass for Police and Fire Fighters,” The Olive Mass seeks to gather chefs, food, beverage, and hospitality professionals to prayerfully celebrate the gift of food and to bless those who serve it. We hope to encourage these professionals in their passion for food, hospitality and cheer. The Olive Mass wants to help food professionals see their noble calling and to encourage them to use their passion and talents to bring good into this world.
In a special way, This Olive Mass wants to fight against the way people have used food as a weapon! We hope to show that the real “soul food” is actually the soul of the professionals who grow, cook, and serve the food with love!
The Olive Mass extends a special blessing for the ways chefs and servers serve us with the food they create.
It’s going to be a fantastic experience! I want to personally invite ALL food professionals – whether you cook in a school cafeteria, soup kitchen, fast food restaurant or are a Michelin-Starred Chef; if you produce beer or serve cocktails in New York City, you’re invited to come, thank God for the gifts of your craft, develop friendships with other professionals, and to create an environment and opportunity where you can use your skills and passion to nourish your own soul.
There’s more information to come, but for now, please review the information HERE. Please share this invitation with your friends. Come and celebrate with The Table Foundation. Pray that The Olive Mass will help serve up something good for this world that is hungering and thirsting for The Good News!
Let us Pray
Lord, bless the efforts of The Table Foundation and those involved with The Olive Mass, so that we can do the work of God – the Creator and Father of all – by feeding people well, in body, mind and spirit! May those who are suffering in this world, due to lack of food, receive the help they need to survive and celebrate the gift of life. May all those who come to The Olive Mass experience a deeper appreciation for their craft, passion and sense of service. May our world find healing in the midst of these tragedies. We ask this through Christ, the Blessed Fruit, who heals and forgives us for every bite we have taken of the forbidden fruit. Amen.