Saturday, August 01, 2020
“Give Them Some Food Yourselves” by Jim Bayne
“Give Them Some Food Yourselves” by Jim Bayne
Thus, says the LORD: All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! (Is 55:1)
The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. (Ps 145:8-9)
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38-39)
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place, and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” (Mt 14:15-16)
When evil darkens our world, give us light.
When despair numbs our souls, give us Hope.
When we stumble and fall, lift us up. When doubts assail us, give us faith.
When nothing seems sure, give us trust.
When ideals fade, give us vision.
When we lose our way, be our guide!
That we may find serenity in Your presence and purpose in doing Your will.
- John D. Rayner
The first reading from Isaiah is an invitation from God to be fed. God offers us food and drink at no cost. This nourishment should come as no surprise as the psalm tells us, “The Lord is gracious and merciful.”
Paul confirms this message by telling us that neither death nor life – nothing -- can separate us from the love of God.
In the Gospel, Jesus goes out to a deserted place to rest after experiencing the trauma of John the Baptist’s death. But he finds no rest. The crowds follow him seeking his healing. Just as we would expect from the Son of God made man, “His heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.” The messages of Isaiah and Paul in action.
But when evening came, and it was time to eat, Jesus tells his disciples, “give them some food yourselves.” Now it’s our turn to work. They started with one boy who was willing to share his supply of food. Once the sharing began, everyone got into the game, and in the end, they fed everyone. Not only that, but they had enough left over to fill 12 baskets; one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
As we come through this pandemic – hopefully, sometime next year – there is going to be a need for feeding like no one could have imagined. But according to an article from the Huffington Post:
Hunger is caused by poverty and inequality, not scarcity. For the past two decades, the rate of global food production has increased faster than the rate of global population growth. The world already produces more than 1 ½ times enough food to feed everyone on the planet. That’s enough to feed 10 billion people, the population peak we expect by 2050. But the people making less than $2 a day -- most of whom are resource-poor farmers cultivating small plots of land that are not viable -- can’t afford to buy this food.
So, it would appear that our world is in the same state as the crowd that followed Jesus to the deserted place. The question is, who will be the young boy willing to share his loaves and fishes? We Americans, like them, have enough. We have the opportunity to perform miracles on a worldwide scale involving all nations and people. Here’s Sr Joan Chittister’s take from a recent article she wrote:
Life is about human beings and everything all human beings need and will strive to get no matter who tries to stop them, to lock them out of the Garden of Eden: food, shelter, dignity of life, self-development, and social order. It’s all about sustenance.
Until those aims are seen to be the aims of all people, until we fashion a world where all people can have them until all nations work together to distribute the necessities of life to the rest of life, starting with righting the ecological imbalance of the world, the developed world will once more collapse under pressure from the barbarians at the gates, and we will all suffer.
That’s what was so brilliant about the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after WWII rather than allowing the losing nations to drown in their own blood. By making friends out of our enemies, we made a better world for everyone, including ourselves. Instead of arming ourselves to keep people out, we took them in and let them join in the process of strengthening our own country.
The Marshall Plan demonstrated that Gospel values work. We’ve done it before. We’ve fed some of the crowd. Why not try it on a worldwide basis involving all nations?
We are at a turning point in human history. One that comes along very rarely.
This week, increase your knowledge and understanding of the issues facing our nation and the world. For example, check out Washington Post Live. Great opportunity to see and listen to people involved with today’s issues.
Check out the resources available at Just Faith Ministries.
Last Sunday, I got this link from a Cursillo group mate. As he described it, “a story from a Catholic priest in Richmond, published in a Baptist newsletter and sent me by a Jewish friend. It seems we’re all on the same page!” This a powerful sermon. Don’t miss it!!
If we can all think like this, we indeed can feed the whole world and have 12 baskets left over.