Christ Feeds A Hungry Humanity
(See Jn 6:1-15)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
According to a recent United Nations report on the fight against hunger in the world, still today one in nine people go hungry, meaning to say, every day among nine of us, one sister or brother always goes to school or to work or to bed with empty stomach.
Much effort has been done to end, or at least to reduce the scary ghost of famine, but it continues growing all the more bigger and scarier. Many and different reasons for our failure in feeding a hungry humanity are cited: bad weather, natural disaster, social and political instability and the like.
However, to be honest, we would admit the truth that, as far as we know, the fight against hunger can only win the last battle when each and one of us really wants and acts positively so that no one among our sisters and brothers should go to school, to work or to bed empty stomach.
With twenty barley loaves the Prophet Elisha could feed hundreds of people because the holy man put all his trust in the Lord God. That simple piece of confidence in God’s power allowed something great—a miracle, if you like—to happen to the amazement of people.
With five barley loaves and two fish the disciples of Jesus did a much better job, that of satisfying a big crowd of five thousand men, not counting their family members, because they trusted their Master. A little bit of faith in Christ performed a surprising event—a miracle, if you like—which goes beyond human expectation.
In both stories, the miracle of feeding many people with just a few food started with the change of man’s mind and heart. The Prophet Elisha overcame his doubt and fear when sharing the loaves with the crowd. The disciples of Jesus also overcame their doubt and fear when putting the five loaves and two fish into the hands of the compassionate and powerful Master.
This message of confidence, trust and faith in Christ also serves as a good example for you and for me today not only in the fight against people’s hunger for food in the world, but also in the mission of bringing satisfaction to a humanity hungry for values different from food alone.
Millions of people are still in need of basic human rights, such as the right to freedom of expression, freedom of information, and above all freedom of religion.
Millions of people are deprived of such basic human rights just because of our doubt and fear. To the call to do something to help people, we also answer, as the disciples of Jesus did, “What good can our limited efforts do to reduce people’s suffering?” It may become worse when facing growing forms of evil in today’s society we lose our hope for a better life for our sisters and brothers.
The remedy, the solution can be found, as the Liturgy of the Word of this Sunday tells us, in Christ alone.
Let us listen to Him and do whatever He commands us to and great sign—or miracle, if you like—will happen.
By Fr. Francis Nguyen, O.P.