Shepherd who nourishes: Jesus knew how to cook

Pastoral food care

Jesus knew how to cook and 'practised the culinary arts' in order to feed his disciples, according to an Italian theologian and author of a new book on the subject, reports CNS in The Catholic Herald.

Father Giovanni Cesare Pagazzi's book La Cucina del Risorto (The Cooking of the Risen One) will not be published until July, but already has attracted considerable attention in Italy. A long extract was published in the February issue of the monthly Rivista del Clero Italiano.

'The hunger of the starving and the thirst of those who are parched are the hunger and thirst of Jesus, and therefore criteria for the Last Judgment,' writes Father Pagazzi.

Editrice Missionaria Italiana, the book publisher, describes it as a 'small evangelical guide' to the relationship between Christ and cooking based on the premise that 'Jesus knew how to cook, practiced the culinary arts, and knew its secrets and traditions.'

For Father Pagazzi, the term 'buon pastore' — good shepherd — has a double meaning. In Italian, 'pasto' is a meal; a 'pastore' or shepherd provides food. For Jesus, part of being the good shepherd is being 'he who nourishes.'

Father Pagazzi, 49, was born in Italy’s Lombard region and holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He has taught Christology since 1996 in seminaries in Lodi and Crema, and is currently a professor at the North Italian Theological Institute in Milan.

Jesus paid attention to the obvious, rather than the exceptional, Father Pagazzi explains. 'His eyes take in the everyday world, which is why he so often spoke in parables' and made so many references to food, the dinner table and banquets.

'A careful reading of the Gospel shows us not only Jesus’ liking for conviviality, but also his excellent knowledge of and production and preparation of food,' writes Father Pagazzi. 'He knew even the precise dose of yeast to be added to flour in making bread,' as demonstrated in Matthew 13:33.

FULL STORY Jesus knew how to cook, says Italian theologian (The Catholic Herald)

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