Monday, June 06, 2005

YOU give them something to eat...

Mark 6: 34-44

34: As he went ashore he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
35: And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, "This is a lonely place, and the hour is now late;
36: send them away, to go into the country and villages round about and buy themselves something to eat."
37: But he answered them, "You give them something to eat." And they said to him, "Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?"
38: And he said to them, "How many loaves have you? Go and see." And when they had found out, they said, "Five, and two fish."
39: Then he commanded them all to sit down by companies upon the green grass.
40: So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties.
41: And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all.
42: And they all ate and were satisfied.
43: And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish.
44: And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.

Give us this day our daily bread…

Is there any excuse we can offer to those who suffer from hunger? Are we waiting for another miraculous feeding? If my memory is on track, the phrase “You give them something to eat,” includes an emphatic “su.” This is the pronoun for “you” and it is often used when the person doing the action is to be particularly emphasized. “YOU give them something to eat.”

Well…why don’t we?

From the United Methodist Reporter:Interfaith gathering highlights hunger conference

An interfaith convocation of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist leaders at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., will highlight a three-day conference June 4-6 focused on world hunger.
In the United States, 36 million adults and 13 million children are undernourished, according to Bread for the World's 2005 hunger report (see Reporter Interactive, March 16). Worldwide, 852 million people are undernourished, and 6 million children die each year, mostly from hunger-related causes. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization defines undernourishment as receiving less than 2,500 calories per day for men, 1,900 for women and 1,500 for children.
"Hunger is one of the great barriers to health and justice in the world today," said the Rev. R. Randy Day, top executive of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. "Food security is often the first step towards peace within and between nations."
"This is a no-brainer. We know how to end hunger — it's not like putting a man on Mars," said H. Eric Schockman, president of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger and chairman of the National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO), an alliance of 13 U.S. anti-hunger groups. In June 2004, NAHO released A Blueprint to End Hunger in America, a document that recommended continued funding and improvements for federal nutrition plans and expansion of state and local programs.
"The blueprint says that if we put 6 to 10 billion dollars a year into our federal nutritional programs between now and 2015, we will end hunger in America," Dr. Schockman said. "That's $21 to $34 per person, per year. That's what it comes down to.... Nutritional programs equal a grand total of 1.01 percent of the entire federal budget. If we add on what the blueprint says we need, we will bolster that up to 1.24 percent. Is that a heavy price to pay to end childhood hunger, senior hunger and hunger in working-poor families?"
The convocation's Islamic representative is Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim chaplain at Washington's Georgetown University. Mr. Hendi noted that a belief in social justice is common to Islam, Christianity and Judaism, and that it can bring the faith groups together to help end world hunger.
"Maybe this can become a role model for religious communities elsewhere and could lead the way for a better future for all of us," he said. "One of my favorite passages in Christian Scripture is Matthew 25:30-46, in which Jesus speaks about those who found him hungry and fed him, and those who found him naked and clothed him. That is what we are all about — our ability to respond to the call of God and to the call of good people, good prophets and messengers in other traditions."
At a May 13 food-aid conference in Kansas City, Mo., Lelei LeLaulu, president of the relief group, Counterpoint International, said that if the war on terrorism is to succeed, it must be accompanied by a war against hunger. Mr. Hendi agreed.
"Many people around the world see America as a prosperous nation that is trying to — as they say in local languages — suck the blood and the money of the poor," Mr. Hendi said. "I don't think that's the case, but if that is the perception and if that's what they use to recruit terrorists amongst the poor, then let us eliminate poverty. Let us eliminate that possibility, and by doing so we give more room for the voices of sanity. Then people may say, 'Wait a minute. That's not really the case. America is standing in the forefront of eliminating poverty and hunger around the world.'"

“This is a no-brainer. We know how to end hunger “ “…then let us eliminate poverty…” Obviously, the people at this conference aren’t waiting for a miracle
Its not miracles we need. It is the “ability to respond to the call of God.”

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