Pastor's Desk: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 18th August 2018 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End: On the Breadline

In recent months the Society of St Vincent de Paul released some shocking figures regarding hunger in Ireland. One in three people who contact the charity are calling because they can’t afford to buy food. It is estimated that one in eleven people in Ireland experience food poverty, which refers to the inability to afford food to make up a healthy diet.

‘Food is an area of expenditure that families have discretion over on a day-to-day basis,’ said SVP head of social justice, Dr Tricia Keilthy. ‘It is much easier to control the cost of food than the cost of rent, utilities or education. So food is typically what families cut back on when times are tough.’

Hunger is a sad fact of life for many in our country. More than ever we appreciate the value of having enough to eat. Over the past few Sundays we have heard Jesus speak a lot about bread and food. His followers experience physical hunger too; the feeding of the five thousand (the story precedes today’s extract from John’s Gospel) shows that Jesus takes care of the physical needs of his followers too. Their experience of hunger and being fed prepares them for his teaching on the bread of life.

When Jesus talks about himself as the ‘bread come down from heaven’, it is clear that it is himself he is offering – his very flesh. If we are followers of Jesus, we are also called to give ourselves in service of others. We have Jesus as our model and teacher, present with us and in us. What can we do to help those who hunger in our country and our world?

Tríona Doherty