Hunger is debilitating

I present before you the challenging words of late Father Pedro Arrupe, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus: “If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is somehow incomplete everywhere in the world.”

Hunger is debilitating

By Joe Palathunkal
During this Lent I want to reflect with you just one aspect of the desert experience which Jesus went through, an experience that is part of our life. Evangelists tell us after fasting for forty days and nights “he was hungry” (Matthew and Luke 4: 2) but Luke reminds us that “he ate nothing in those days”.

All of us have experienced in one time or other that debilitating experience of hunger especially in situations and conditions where no food is available. Devil knows that it is one of our most vulnerable moments and so he strikes Jesus tempting him to turn the stones into loaves of bread but our Lord did not give in because he was full of Holy Spirit and the Abba Experience from the Jordan.

Whenever we participate in the Eucharistic meal we must remember that the Bread from heaven who broke for us sustains and nourishes us by giving us abundance of life (John 10: 10) and therefore each of us has a duty to sustain and nourish our fellow brothers and sisters spiritually and physically.

Physical nourishment entails us to look into the problem of hunger on this earth. More than one billion people of the world are today victims of hunger and multiple forms of malnutrition. That is why UN’s FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said: “The silent hunger crisis – affecting one sixth of all humanity – poses a serious risk for world peace and security.”

In a hungry world how can Jesus become a life-giving experience? It depends each one of us, the scientifically and humanely thought out plans we make for our fellow brothers and sisters irrespective of their religion or region because they are all part of the redemptive vision and mission of our Lord.

Whenever we attend a Holy Eucharist he tells us unequivocally “You yourselves give them something to eat” (Mark 6: 37) as he had told the disciples, and the Eucharist must also remind us about the last judgment and the words of Jesus: “I was hungry and you gave me food.”(Matthew 25: 35)

We cannot wish away, my dear brothers and sisters as Catholics the global reality of the gnawing hunger because for every Catholic, Eucharist is the centre of his or her life. That is why we give so much importance to the First Holy Communion.

I present before you the challenging words of late Father Pedro Arrupe, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Addressing the forty-first International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, USA, in 1976, he said: “If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is somehow incomplete everywhere in the world.”

Remember the words of Father Arrupe whenever you attend a Holy Mass and remember the millions of people suffering from hunger. That could be a great Lenten experience.

(Joe Palathunkal is Associate Editor, Living in Faith)

Get spiritually stimulating stories & reflections
Join the Living in Faith WhatsApp Group Now!
Get exclusive subscription offers & discounts on WhatsApp!
Save +91 949 606 2249 as Living in Faith
Send us a message “Join”