The DCC 6-2-2024

In the November 1998 issue of Food & Wine magazine, writer
Gerri Hirshey tells the story of her grandmother’s “special ministry” to
her family:
“As a child, I often watched my tiny Italian grandmother,
Geraldine, board a city bus cradling a mason jar of hot minestrone. This
meant that someone – Uncle Carmine, Aunt Antoinette – was down. It
didn’t matter whether they were felled by the flu, a feisty gallbladder or
the evil eye. Having heard the alarm, Nonnie (our name for grandma)
tied on an apron and started banging soup pots.
“For nearly half a century, Nonnie was the Designated Soup
Carrier (DSC) for a sprawling Neapolitan network of family and friends
in Stamford, CT. Somewhere between a field medic and a shrink, a
DSC is found in many cultures and is usually female. In the midst of
crisis, her prescriptives are basic and sustaining: Stop a minute. Taste
this. Life is good.”
Nonnie’s daughter Rose – Gerri’s mother – eventually became the
DSC for her brothers and sisters and their families; now, granddaughter
Gerri has assumed the duties of DSC for her generation. The Designated
Soup Carrier’s in Gerri Hirshey’s family model Jesus’ vision for the
Sacrament of the Eucharist. Nourished and sustained by the food we
have received, we become nourishment and sustenance for others. Out
of love, Christ gives us himself in bread and asks us to become, in our
love, bread for others – Designated Christ Carriers (DCC).
Here are several examples:
A. He was old, tired, and sweaty, pushing his homemade cart;
stopping now and then to poke around somebody’s garbage. I
wanted to tell him about Eucharist, but the look in his eyes, the
despair in his face, told me to forget it, so, I smiled and I said
“Hi” and I gave him Eucharist.
B. She lived alone, her husband dead, her family gone, as she
talked at you – not to you, words, endless words. So, I listened
and gave her Eucharist.
C. He sat across my desk – very nervous. He finally said it, “I
have AIDS” – by God’s grace, I did not say, how did you get
AIDS?” – I said “How can I help?” I gave him Eucharist.
I close:
As you, as we – say our Amen today at communion time – let us
remember and take to heart these words – “We receive Eucharist – to
become Eucharist for others. Let us remember and take to heart this
challenge – the work of proclaiming God’s reconciling love belongs to
every one of us, whether we collect taxes, teach math, manage a Fortune
500 company or shine shoes for a living – may we possess the greatness
of spirit and generosity of heart to be ministers of the Gospel –
Designated Christ Carriers, in whatever place we are in, whatever time
God has given us. Amen. “We receive Eucharist – to become Eucharist
for others.”


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