Slicing and Dicing: A Thursday Parable

Male and female. He created them. And thank God He did.

Jesus came into the world the same way we all did: born of a woman. Later in his ministry, women became an important part of His public ministry. We know of Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, who attended to Jesus with different yet complementary styles. On Golgotha, after the men disciples had fled, the women remained. And after His Resurrection, Jesus first appeared to, you got it, a woman, Mary Magdalene.

Do you see a pattern here? Was God trying to tell us something?

Help Wanted
The women behind the scenes helping at the Divine Mercy Networking Forum and the North American Congress on Mercy drove this theme home Thursday night, Nov. 12, in the humblest of ways. We call the episode "The Caterer's Gaffe."

On Thursday, after busing from Stockbridge, Mass., to Washington, D.C., NACOM staffers heard the dire announcement as the merciful mystery tour pulled into town: "Bodies were desperately needed to ..."

People waited, breathlessly. Needed to what? Heal the sick? Raise the dead?

"... help prepare for..."

Prepare? For what? The coming of the Lord?

" ... food platters for tomorrow."

It seems that the arrangements with the caterer fell through, and so, after checking into our hotel and in the spirit of the event, we volunteered to hoof it to Marian Scholasticate on Harewood Road, some by van and some by the Metro commuter line.

A quick trip to a local supermarket for veggie platter supplies was arranged. After a traffic jam, the food van arrived at the Marian House. Time to get to work, right?

Swiss-Watch Workings of Women in the Kitchen
The men, however, dithered -- eating, chewing the fat, telling jokes, horsing around, or, in my case, being given the buck-ninety-eight tour by Br. Ken Dos Santos, MIC. Seeing we were doing everything but the task at hand, the women took charge of the kitchen of the Marian building on Harewood Road.

It's a wonder to watch women commandeer a kitchen.
Gina Shultis, Christine Langlois, Ellen Miller, Mary Kay Volpone, Linda Kratka, Sarah Chichester, and Paula Valenti got to the slicing and dicing. Peeking into a kitchen of women at work reminds one of cracking open the back of a fine Swiss watch. Deftly wielded knifes turned scattered mounds of carrots, peppers, and broccoli into expertly cut platters of food.

Not a story about spirituality or mercy, you say? This writer begs to differ. The spiritual lesson was clear: Action is better than talk, doing supersedes saying, and task mastering trumps telling. The speakers at the Divine Mercy Networking Forum on Friday, Nov. 13, and the North American Congress on Mercy on Saturday, Nov. 14, drove this point home time after time: God's mercy upon us demands that we extend mercy and love to others.

The Caterer's Gaffe had thrown us a last-minute curve ball. Instead of relaxing at the hotel after a long trip, people were called for yet one more task. The choice was to grouse and complain or pitch in to solve the problem. The women came through.

Because the women got involved, lunch would be served without a snag. Hungry people would eat.

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