Grace is a good name for the prayer many of us say when we sit down to a meal. Before we’ve tasted a single bite, we say, “Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty.” We give thanks not knowing if the meatloaf is tasty, the beans nicely cooked, the pumpkin pie spiced just right. We trust in God’s love poured out on this bountiful Earth that produces the food on our tables. That love is also poured into the hearts of the people around the table, whose friendship is an even greater gift. Both food and friendship are grace, gifts freely given. In fact, this might be a good prayer to say at the dawning of every day, before we know if the day will serve up a feast or a few dry crumbs. But we do know two things for sure: that God’s love will never fail and that our job is to share gifts, lavish or meager, with all the hungry people around the table.
By Mara Faulkner, OSB