BY JULIE MYERS | April 6, 2017
It’s 6:01pm on Monday and we already know dinner is going to be late – Bill is cooking. However, the aroma from the kitchen – his signature dish, homemade mac and cheese – keeps us content.
People chat around the table. Others chop vegetables donated from the local produce market. Someone moves a pile of used coats into the side room to bring to our drop-in center. The door swings open every few minutes and more people join the table.
When the food is finally served, we join hands – newborns and old folks, teachers and welders, architects and the unemployed, students and human rights advocates, Ethiopian and German, and everyone in between – for prayer.
It’s dinnertime at the Cleveland Catholic Worker.
This is where I eat every night, with people who are committed to radical hospitality to those on the margins. For our community in Cleveland, that means folks who struggle with mental illness or are homeless.
While the rest of the world seems to move towards division and hierarchy, our community strives to challenge that notion through one daily act: dinner. All are welcome at this rag tag table. And every spot is equal. Jesus shares this vision of equality with us in today’s gospel. Though some lord their authority over others, he says, “It shall not be so among you.” Our faith calls us to a new kind of relationship. I catch a glimpse of Jesus’s vision at dinnertime.
- Can I be attentive to the moments when God calls me into just and equal relationships with others?
- Can I ask God for the grace to serve and not be served?
Julie Myers is a member of the Cleveland Catholic Worker community and a campus minister at John Carroll University, where she works on immersion experiences, retreats, and social justice initiatives. After graduating from JCU in 2009, she spent three years doing human rights accompaniment work in Barranacebermeja, Colombia with the Christian Peacemaker Teams. In her free time, Julie enjoys exploring the Cleveland Metroparks and gardening.