The New Wine Press vol 26 no 1 September 2017 - Page 18
Wine Tasting, continued from page 15
who I am what I am connected to. The outcome of the
dish or even the entire meal reflects how we feel inside.
Sharing at the dinner table is a unique thing we do
and not very often anymore, but when we do it is a
place where we pray together and eat together. Meals
are shared, secrets are told, laughter is shared, tears are
shed, stories are told and dreams become vocal. We
experience God’s gifts, love and presence at the dinner
table. It is a place of human connection. Let’s look
at Jesus’s ministry, he was usually at the table with his
disciples and surrounded by food and wine. There are
several accounts in the book of Matthew 26:26-27 at
the Last Supper where he writes “while they were eat-
ing, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and boke it, and
gave it to his disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is my
body. And he toke the cup, and gave thanks and gave
it to them, saying, Drink all of it, this is my body.”
Breaking bread together at the dinner table is not
only a biblical tradition but an ancient one as well.
In ancient time, hospitality was viewed as a moral
standard. It included welcoming strangers, neigh-
bors, family and friends to your table and home. This
usually involved offering them your home and a meal.
Coming from an Italian and Croatian culture growing
up this meant making people feel at home and sharing
God’s love with one another through food. I remem-
ber my Mother could cook something up within no
time if someone showed up the door unexpectedly and
it would be a spectacular homemade Italian meal. But
she never complained but it was a part of her existence
to nurture that expression of hospitality and Catholic
faith. Growing up in this environment has taught me
about my own roots and becoming more aware of how
important it is to connect them with in relationships.
My mother always had a motto that no one ever
leaves her house hungry! On the other hand, my fa-
ther’s motto was no one ever left thirsty! When grapes
were season in the spring we would go down to the
city market to buy cases of red and white grapes with
my father. We would have to carry all those wooden
cases to the basement where my dad made his own
wine and vinegar. It was a huge process that the whole
family would take part of! After bottling the wine,
he would place so many bottles aside to give out our
friends and guests. This was his expression of hospital-
ity because anytime someone came over he would al-
ways offer his homemade wine and grappa! If you were
16 • The New Wine Press • September 2017
Lucia Ferrara and helper in the kitchen at Precious Blood Center
lucky enough he would send you with a small bottle to
enjoy at home. Although my father was a harsh can-
tankerous man he did find within his own spiritualty
to give and share his gift of winemaking with others.
This was his way of connecting his spirit with others.
In my culture, hospitality is a not only an obligation to
all those who enter but a practice, skill and a gift.
The bible shows us many accounts of hospitality.
Jesus surrounded himself by all kinds of people from
all walks of life, some were prostitutes, sinners, killer’s,
adulterers, etc. He accepted everyone at the table. Just
like my family, Jesus ate with no strangers. He made
everyone feel welcome and at home. His table always
included food and wine. One distinctive account was
in the book of Matthew 11:18-19, where he surrounds
himself with “notorious sinners.” Jesus ministry was
usually at the table with his disciples he always had
room at the table.
Cooking and spiritualty is important because it
brings us together to gather with all walks of life. Just
as Jesus did bringing food and wine to the table. By
doing so, this bring us to what I like to call is “table
fellowship”. In our culture today, we have lost the art
of cooking and spirituality because our moral standard
has changed as well. Everyone is busy with “things”
and we just do not have time to cook a meal and eat
together and have “table fellowship.” This art is lost
in today’s world and we need to start bringing our
cultural traditions back and make breaking bread to-
gether a priority. We sustain our bodies and souls with
the spirit of food and fellowship. This is what gives up
energy to seek the beauty in all of God’s creations.