MasterChef friar – cooks delicious food

MasterChef Spain’s 11th season saw a Dominican friar stirring both people and food in the famous culinary show.

Throughout the competition, Fr Marcos García showed up in his Dominican habit, with his rosary, offering blessings.

In the past, the Church built institutions, he says.

Now we have to go to people, to have a Church “going out”.

We priests must leave our comfort zone and preach where God is unknown, García says.

“And we do not do it on our own merit, but because He asks us to.”

In Spain, where Catholicism rarely is discussed in the media — unless because of a scandal, García’s presence was highly visible.

Contestants complained. Social media was fascinated. Garcia just kept cooking delicious food.

We can find God in so many things, García says. He’s in our memories of the smell of our mothers, their cooking, the family, of home. Sharing bread brings God to the table, he says.

He sees God when he cooks “because he is a God who gives himself, and in the kitchen, the cook is really giving something of himself, not simply preparing a dish.”

God was definitely present on MasterChef, García says.

By ignoring other people’s prejudices and barbed comments and continuing with a smile, García found he could “keep being a witness of Jesus, so that many others can see and feel God there.”

“All religions seek God but, in ours, it is God who insists on seeking us.

He says he thinks the Lord allowed him to be vilified on the show sometimes “so that I could remain silent, and in that silence learn to listen to souls — and then people began to come closer.”

García changed attitudes during MasterChef.

People sought confession. Marriages and baptisms were booked, and confirmation preparation began.

“It became for me the vineyard of the Lord, really,” he says.

“There were participants with a vision of the Church that made them reject everything … but then by talking with them and answering their questions, their perspective changed.

“Sometimes it is not necessary to speak, sometimes what God wants is for us to listen to people — and in that listening, God carves a little hole in their hearts.”

García also found prayer and support where he least expected it.

“With the show, I realised under my habit and under someone else’s piercings or tattoos, there are two children of God who each deserve respect and love.”

Sometimes it is unnecessary to do so much programmatic vocational promotion — simple witness goes a long way, he says.

“What happens is that God’s way is how it hurts the most. But when you do what God wants, an inexplicable peace enters you.

“I would prefer to go unnoticed, but I want people to know the message, not the messenger. I want them to know Christ and know the Gospel, not me.”


Additional reading

News category: Great reads, World.

Tags: , , , ,