Family Matters: ‘A la Tavola’ (At the Table)

By Lucia Ferrara

Pull up a chair and take a moment to close your eyes. Imagine yourself at a long wooden table, set with white linens, fresh flowers from the garden that smell like sweet perfume, candles, crystal stemware and china and your name card on it. The aroma of the meal being prepared is capturing your senses.

This beautifully prepared table is where you find yourself sitting between two people you have never met before in your life! You are probably asking yourself where am I and who am I with? The answer is that you are at the table with friends! People who seem to be strangers at first but as murmurs of conversation begin to unfold you find out you have more in common than you think. We continue to break bread together and stories begin to be written on our hearts.

Being at the table is an amazing opportunity to share God’s gifts and graces with one another. So, I say, Welcome to the feast! The feast of course is not only the scrumptious food that I placed before us but the company around it. As we begin our time at the table, we stop a moment and thank our Creator for the wonderful food and people around us and those who have prepared it along the way. All food comes from God. God created the earth with food, sun, rain, and humans to savor all this before us. As it is stated in Acts 2:42

“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to the fellowship, and sharing in meals…and to prayer.”

God spreads a banquet for us when we least expect it. Years ago, I was at Mother’s Day Tea with my daughter, and we sat next to another mother-daughter duo whom we had never met before and as we began to talk and share our feelings and stories. I found out she had lost her mother at a young age, too. For some reason this comforted me, not that she also had lost her mother, but I knew God had placed us both there at the table for a reason. Suddenly I no longer felt like a stranger.

I felt the humanity of God at the table that day. Sharing that with my daughter was extraordinary. Jesus had a seat at the table that day. And that was to bring to life the memories of our mothers and share them with our daughters together. We had so much in common and we ended up exchanging phone numbers and have remained friends since. It’s been at least ten years now!

Gathering with people you do not know can be very intimidating at first, but just let go and let God do His work in all of us. This is what I call becoming the Kingdom of God. We are all called to it whether we realize it or not. God invites us all to HIS table. Go and gather the fullness of life that is set before us at the table. I leave you with this reflection:

How do you feel knowing you have been invited to the table of God’s kingdom?

All the articles in the Family Matters series are available here.

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[Lucia Ferrara is the Director of Hospitality at Precious Blood Renewal Center and the lead organizer here of Parent Cafes. Share your thoughts with Lucia or ask her questions by using the form below or sending an email to Read more about the Parent Café here.]

Photo 92502904 © Iakov Filimonov |

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