Growing up as a boy I was very fortunate to live in a house where a dinner of leftovers tasted even better than the original meal. A good example of this was when my Mom and Nana would make a huge pot of brown beans with cornbread. It would taste so great but we knew that the best was yet to come. The next day Nana would take the left over beans, throw in some pasta and Italian seasonings and create a delicious “Pasta Fasul” with a loaf of freshly baked Italian bread on the side. After we all sat happily at the table she would say, “Mangia, Mangia” which means “Eat, Eat”, and she would follow this up with: “It’s good for you!”
It was good for me too. It was good for my body. It was good for my taste buds. And it was good for my soul. It wasn’t just the food that was good for me either but also the love that it was made with. Our family was far from perfect. We had more than our share of tensions, arguments, struggles, trials, and tragedies. We dealt with losses, hardships, poverty, disease, and even death. But through it all love was there. It was there to strengthen us, to carry us through, to make us better, and to bring us joy. It was there in the meals we ate, the troubles we shared, and the times we spent together.
It is this love that I have carried with me all of my life. It is this love that I have tried to share with others as well. If there is anything I have learned in this life it is that love is good for you. Love makes you feel good. Love makes you do good. Love makes you, good. And love brings you ever closer to the ultimate goodness of God.
May you always remember what is good for you then. May you go through all your days here with a full belly and a full heart. And may you share so much love that when you finally come to die even the undertaker is crying.