Our initial reading or understanding of ‘feed the hungry’ is obvious, feeding people and meeting their physical need for food. Food sustains our bodies so we may be active and full disciples of Jesus. People in our parish, community, and the world are hungry; many may be unable to afford food for themselves or families, access to food, or are food deprived because of poor government leadership or oppression. Food is a basic human necessity and our awareness and response to hunger promotes human dignity.
At the Last Supper, Jesus took bread and cup, blessed the bread and wine and told his disciples to “do this in memory of me.” The Eucharist is our call to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus and become what we have received - to be the Body of Christ in our world. The Eucharist is our eternal food, the food for our faith journey, the food where we recognize Jesus, and respond to the hunger of others.
Meeting the needs of the hungry is our ministry to others. Caretakers who provide for the sick or dying, may not have the energy to shop or cook. Providing meals to a friend during a difficult time, is an effective act of charity. The elderly or homebound appreciate visits and a meal. A birth is a joyous time to share a meal and celebrate new life while helping sleep-deprived parents. A good meal – accompanied by a warm heart and a generous ear – nourishes the spirit as well as the body.
Another way to look at hunger is to experience it ourselves. Re-visit the practice of fasting and abstinence. Consider our Ash Wednesday and Good Friday observances and add a day of fasting one day a week throughout the year. By skipping a meal, we experience hunger and can use the resources to help someone who needs a meal.
The Lord promises: “If you pour yourself out for the hungry… then shall your light rise in the darkness” (Is 58:10).
- May we see the face of Jesus in all who hunger and provide adequate and quality food.
- May we provide care to all who hunger in mind, body or spirit by our prayers and loving concern.
- May we hunger to continue the work of Jesus and become the Body of Christ to others.
- May we turn our attention away from the hunger that satisfies the body and towards the hunger for truth, for life, and for love.
- May all of us hunger for the Bread which comes down from heaven and thirst for the Words of Everlasting Life.