Sunday 21 February 2010

Bible Book:

"The devil said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.' Jesus answered him, 'It is written, "One does not live by bread alone."'" (v.3-4)

Luke 4:1-13 Sunday 21 February 2010


Today, 24,000 people in the world will die of hunger. Millionsface malnutrition and famine - especially in east Africa, where therains have failed for four years. These brute facts disguiseobscene suffering. Dying of hunger is not a pretty sight. Familiesare forced to make choices between evil options. Who will eat andwho will die today? Is dying of Aids in any way preferable to dyingfrom starvation?

Yet God's son, to be true to the loving creator of this world,refuses to conjure up some magical power to put right the basicaffront of hunger to human dignity. What a mystery this is forpeople of faith! In Jesus' hunger, following 40 days in thewilderness without food, God shares the anguish and pain of thehungry, generation after generation.

But there is a constructive way forward. The spirit of God's sontoday urges the rich and well-fed people of the world to act asresponsible human beings. They must give priority to the long-termchanges which will address widespread famine:

  • developing technology to increase crop yields
  • applying effective and sustainable farming methods
  • containing global warming through drastic cuts in greenhousegases
  • creating markets for locally grown food.

And in the midst of all this, God's son - Jesus - also,somehow, keeps alive a wider vision. "One does not live by breadalone" (part of Deuteronomy 8:3). There is more to life than barelystaying alive. It is possible to dream about a world of justice andjoy, where poor people have decent lives to lead, imaginations tofeed and gifts to deploy for the good of their neighbours. The richand powerful - that includes most of us in the developed world -must help to develop everywhere good families and healthycommunities where people care for each other, share generously, actwith justice and seek God. But under no circumstances must theyrenege on their top priority - to feed the world'shungry.


To Ponder

What sort of fast could you plan for yourself orthe modern Church which would help people to confront the pain ofthe world's hungry?

What new contribution can you make today to thequality of relationships in your family or in yourneighbourhood?

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