Living the Gospel – August 2, 2020

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In today’s Gospel we are told that when the vast crowd approached Jesus his heart was moved and he cured the sick and that when evening came he told his disciples not to send the people away hungry but to feed them. Jesus certainly gave us an example of how to be aware of those around us and how to respond to their needs….in one case healing them and in another providing for their basic need of food. What modern day examples do we have to live like this and how can we possibly do it?

In a recent article in the Magazine Mother Jones, Julie Lure wrote about the owner of a Sheraton Hotel who put a hand written sign in his window, “Sanctuary.” He welcomed anyone in need of a safe place to stay and provided them with food and essentials. The owner attracted many individuals who volunteered to cook, clean, counsel and meet medical needs. It was a welcome addition to a neighborhood that was experiencing unrest and destruction of property. The hotel owner is an example of a person who made an individual decision that positively served the immediate needs of people.

In our small communities we may not have the opportunity to make such a big impact, but in our everyday life we can respond to the ‘hunger’ of other people. There are so many types of hunger especially during these days of isolation with COVID 19. The hunger might be physical lack of food which we can easily meet by shopping for them or referring them to the Food Pantry. There is the ‘hunger’ for emotional support that we can give by listening and talking with a person who is struggling with a big or little issue. There is the ‘hunger’ for companionship and relationships that we can give to those who are lonely and not able to go out during these social distancing time…a phone call, email or card might just be the ‘best’ gift that we can give. As I was recently reminded in a Facebook post, no matter what our age, young or old, we have value and the ability to serve others. We cannot use age as excuse. We are never too old or too young to help in some way.

How do we become aware of the needs of others? I think part of the answer is to be attentive to things we read, things we see and things we hear. It is easy to go through the day focused on our own needs but if we start the day praying for the grace to be open to situations and people we might discover the ‘hunger’ of other people. A dear friend of mine shared that each morning after meditation she writes three goals for the day some of which are reaching out to different people. In the evening she writes three things she is grateful for. Such a daily practice establishes such a positive way to live.

This week let’s pray for each other that we can see and respond to the ‘hunger’ of others…..you might even want to try writing things down each day to reinforce your thoughts!! Have a splendid week!

Peg Orzel