Engaging Faith | Mon, Jul 23, 2012
Lectionary reflections for July 29th, 2012-- the seventeenth sunday in ordinary time [b]
Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time [b]
July 29, 2012
2 Kings 4:42-44
July 31: Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus
August 1: Feast of Alphonsus Ligouri, founder of the Redemptorists
If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is somehow incomplete everywhere in the world.”
Pedro Arrupe, SJ
The hungry nations of the world cry out to the peoples blessed with abundance. And the Church, cut to the quick by this cry, asks each and every person to hear his or her brother's or sister’s plea and answer it lovingly.
Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 3
Our nation has been blessed with great freedom, vibrant democratic traditions, unprecedented economic strengths, abundant natural resources, and a generous and religious people. Yet not all is right with our nation. Our prosperity does not reach far enough. Our culture does not lift us up; instead it may bring us down in moral terms. This new world we lead is still too dangerous, giving rise to ethnic cleansing and an inability to confront hunger and genocide. We are still falling short of the American pledge of “liberty and justice for all,” our declaration to defend the inalienable rights of the person--“life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
U.S. Bishops, Faithful Citizenship: Civic Responsibility for a New Millennium
Feed the hungry (cf. Mt 25: 35, 37, 42) is an ethical imperative for the universal Church, as she responds to the teachings of her Founder, the Lord Jesus, concerning solidarity and the sharing of goods. Moreover, the elimination of world hunger has also, in the global era, become a requirement for safeguarding the peace and stability of the planet. Hunger is not so much dependent on lack of material things as on shortage of social resources, the most important of which are institutional. What is missing, in other words, is a network of economic institutions capable of guaranteeing regular access to sufficient food and water for nutritional needs, and also capable of addressing the primary needs and necessities ensuing from genuine food crises, whether due to natural causes or political irresponsibility, nationally and internationally.
Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 27
Thoughts for your consideration
Large numbers of people in our world suffer from some form of “food insecurity.” For many reasons too many people are going hungry. At the same time, in our world as a whole, there is no shortage of food. The challenge is that many people don’t have the means to buy the food they need or to raise their own food.
Our religious faith invites us to address this problem. Many of our churches support food pantries or soup kitchens. Many groups work to share food with those in need in other parts of the world.
Our faith also invites us to address the issues in the world that cause people to be hungry. We are called to work together to address issues that keep people hungry -- issues like monetary policy, trade rules, land reform, sweatshops, working conditions, the rights of farm workers, the role of women in agriculture, the role of large corporations and governments in food policies, the state of our ecology, and many others issues. We believe that all of our institutions and rules must put people first and allow all people to have access to enough food.
The scriptures today remind us of God’s desire for all people to share in the bounty of food produced in our world. In the stories about Elisha and Jesus, everyone ends up with more than enough to eat. The problem in our world is not one of scarcity but of distribution. There is enough for all. The miracle of the scriptures is a miracle of sharing – a miracle of distribution – a miracle of justice for the whole community of hungry people. With the vision of Paul in the second reading, we are invited to make real the call to be “one body and one Spirit.”
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
How has the recession of the last four years, effected your ability to get enough good food in your family? How has the recession increased hunger and homelessness in your part of the world?
When have you experienced the sharing of food among a large group of people?
Was there enough? What was the spirit of the event?
To share the story of stone soup, go to:
Actions - Links
“Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.” Find out more at http://www.bread.org/ . Check out their suggestions for online and other types of action on hunger and poverty issues.
“ONE is a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support smart and effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures. Cofounded by Bono and other campaigners, ONE is nonpartisan and works closely with African activists and policy makers.” Get involved at http://one.org/international/
925 million people are hungry. Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes. That's one child every five seconds. There were 1.4 billion people in extreme poverty in 2005. The World Bank estimates that the spike in global food prices in 2008, followed by the global economic recession in 2009 and 2010 has pushed between 100-150 million people into poverty.
Half of American Households hold just 1 Percent of Wealth
The share of wealth held by the top 10% of wealth owners grew from 67.2% in 1989 to 74.5% in 2010. Declines occurred in the remaining 90% of households. The share of total net worth owned by households in the 50th to 90th percentile of the wealth distribution fell from 29.9% in 1989 to 24.3% in 2010, and the share of households in the bottom half fell from 3.0% to 1.1%.
The US ranks 73rd in global income equality, just below Turkmenistan and just above Senegal
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Lord, help us work together for justice.
For all those who are suffering from hunger today, we pray….
For all farmers and farmworkers who do not have the land, resources, and opportunities to produce the food which they and the world need, we pray….
For those struggling because of the current droughts and the current flooding around our nation and world, we pray….
For those without employment and income so as to buy the food they need for themselves and their families, we pray…..
For government officials and political leaders that they may advance policies and programs that will help everyone to get enough to eat, we pray….
For those who own and manage the corporations and farms that produce our food, we pray…..
Prayer - Meditation
A prayer for thanksgiving and sharing
Thanks for the abundance, help up to share
Thanks for the water that helps all to grow, help us to share.
Thanks for the land that allows us to plant, help us to share.
Thanks for the air that lets us all breathe, help us to share.
Thanks for the knowledge that lets us produce, help us to share it.
Thank for the seeds that allow us to plant, help us to share them.
Thanks for the harvest that we have been given, help us to share it.
Thanks for the transportation that we may move our food, help us to share.
Thanks for the Spirit that lets us share all that we are. Amen.
The Prayer for Peace began to circulate in 1981 in England. Its source is not clearly known, and it has no ties with any single denomination or faith. It can be found in various languages at r faith.