Thursday, March 20, 2014
“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives”
"So you begin…I began. I picked up one person — Maybe if I didn't pick up that one person I wouldn't have picked up 42,000. Just begin…one, one, one.” - Mother Teresa
Gospel Text: (LK 16:19-31)
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied, ‘My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father’s house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said,
‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded
if someone should rise from the dead.’“
Did you get the message? Pope Francis is tasking Catholics with the mission of ending world hunger by 2025 via a sustained campaign of 'Prayer and Action.' Unfortunately, there are a lot of Catholics who haven't yet answered the call.
Perhaps it's that most people do not appreciate the magnitude of the situation.
• One child dies every 10 seconds from hunger.
• Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year.
• One out of six children -- roughly 100 million -- in developing countries are underweight.
• 870 million people in the world do not have enough to eat.
• Asia has the largest share of the world's hungry people (some 552 million).
• World Food Programme (WFP) calculates that US$3.2 billion is needed per year to reach all 66 million hungry school-age children.
Hunger stalks at least one billion people, or about one in every 8 souls. The majority of those who go hungry are children, not adults. Children are also the most likely to suffer and die from malnutrition.
If you've never felt the pain of hunger, that's a blessing. However, for hundreds of millions of children, the burning, knotted sensation of a stomach that has been empty for perhaps two days or more is a reality they will always remember. For some, it is the last thing they remember before dying in a final bout of lethargy and pain. Starvation is real, it happens every day, and it's a terrible way to die.
Yet none of these children needs to die. The world produces more than enough food to feed everybody, but it is distributed scandalously. Pope Francis explained this in his call to action for all Catholics.
Think about yourself. What did you eat last? When's the last time you went hungry? How much food is wasted or thrown out in your home? How many leftovers in your fridge go uneaten?
For most Americans, the amount of food waste is staggering. America alone could feed the world with its refuse.
This is why you are called to be the ones to serve the hungry.
We are all called to serve the poor, but it is understood that we can't all take to the streets as Pope Francis did when he was a bishop. Instead, many of us have professional lives that require us to work at a desk and children to tend and so on.
We understand. Not everybody can "sell their desks and get into the streets" as Pope Francis told his almoner to do in the Vatican. But we can, in our own ways, make small sacrifices that have just as big an impact on the world.
If you can provide a meal for a hungry child, then you can say you've answered the call.
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 5:44 AM