For some time now, the Sisters of St. Joseph, Albany Province have had as a province goal to see food as a human right and to work toward the elimination of hunger in our country and elsewhere in every way possible. Although it seems an insurmountable achievement, we work toward it as we can. Some of us write letters to our government representatives or call when legislation like the Farm Bill comes up for a vote. Some work in a soup kitchen or food pantry and at most of our province gatherings we are asked to bring a non-perishable food item in support of those volunteers and our goal. Some would call us foolish for thinking we could really achieve much progress toward realization of such a societal change as the number of children and adults who go hungry each night is astronomical (and shameful in a country such as ours). Yet we “soldier on” hoping that our voices will be heard and our attempts will change the consciousness of others in our midst.
Today’s gospel from John (6: 1-15) tells the familiar story of the feeding of the five thousand. That miracle happened, we are told, because of a boy who had five barley loaves and two fish who cooperated because Jesus wanted everyone to be fed. In the letter to the Ephesians, also part of today’s readings, we hear the exhortation to “live in a manner worthy of the call you have received…bearing with one another through love…striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit…”
With reflection on – and living out of – those two Scripture passages, how can we fail?