Make baking zucchini bread with friends an opportunity to talk with young children about sharing in the Eucharist as a community of the faithful.
by Theresa Wilson
Have you noticed recently we have been hearing a lot about food in the readings at Mass? I am a former chef turned short-order cook to my young children, so the mention of food always perks up my ears. But this is not me being hyper-aware to all things food. We are in the midst of the “Bread of Life Discourse,” a five-week breakdown of the Gospel of John, chapter 6. Here Jesus is telling us exactly what the Eucharist is — Jesus himself as true food for our bodies and souls.
Now, have you ever noticed what happens to a kid when you mention food? Yup, his or her ears will perk right up. The readings this week give us another occasion to welcome our children into understanding the faith a little more deeply with their eager listening ears.
Often during the Liturgy of the Eucharist at Mass, I’ll quietly lean over and whisper to my 4-year-old that this is what Jesus did when he sat to dinner with his friends at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. Just as he did with his friends as a community, now we are welcomed to the table to be fed by the Eucharist.
To be able to talk more about the bread of life in more than a whisper, we made zucchini bread together and invited our friends over to share it with us. We talked about the Eucharist and ate bread as a community of friends. When we go to Mass this Sunday, I will remind my daughter of our experience in the kitchen.
While measuring, cracking eggs, stirring and grating zucchini, my 2-year-old son insists on pulling a chair up to the counter to get involved with more than just taste testing. The little sous chefs and I begin to chat about how delicious our bread will be.
I ask, “What do you like about this bread?” Immediately my son exclaims, “Yummy, yummy, yummy!” My daughter takes a second longer then answers,”It’s warm, it fills me up, and I can share it with my friends. It’s sooo good.”
The connection was simple: “That’s what the Eucharist is too!”
For our food we thank you,
for our joys we praise you,
for our life we glorify you.
Help us to love you more.
— Grace After Meals from “The Catholic Family Book of Prayers“