I chose this excerpt as part of my Lenten journey because it is about charity – donating and giving to the poor. During Lent children in Sunday school are sent home with Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowls. Giving is a major part of Lent because it follows Jesus’s call to serve our neighbors. The money raised through the rice bowls provides food, medical care, and clean water to those in need around the world. Most often, the donations achieved with the rice bowl come from the change leftover from a dollar.
“And when you reap the harvest of your land, do not completely reap one corner of your field, and the fallen stalks of your harvest do not gather. And your vineyard, do not glean, nor gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God” Leviticus 19:9-10
Much like the command to leave remnants of the harvest for the poor, it’s the remnant of the dollar that makes it into the charitable rice bowl.
Rena poses the question of why we shouldn’t donate a portion of the harvest. One of the reasons she provides is that as the poor come to help themselves during your absence you cannot know who your donations are helping. Indicating that there isn’t any personal benefit, making it the “ultimate form of charity.” I like this reasoning as it follows my belief that doing good shouldn’t be done because of the potential reward.
I additionally chose this excerpt because of the recipe that accompanies it. This chicken dish served with creamy sauce is studded with mushrooms and grapes.
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise so they’re thin
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1 C chicken broth
- juice 1/2 lemon
- 2 C slice grapes
- 1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped
- In a bowl mix together flour, basil, paprika, salt and pepper. Lightly dredge chicken in flour mixture, reserve the remaining flour.
- In a large tall sided skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat. Brown chicken 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add extra olive oil to the skillet if needed and saute garlic and mushrooms 2 minutes. Stir in flour from step 1 and add broth, cream, lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer sauce for 4 minutes. Return chicken to the pan and cook 6 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Add grapes and parsley and let warm through an extra minute.
*This recipe is adapted from Eating the Bible by Rena Rossner*
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