31 July 2013
This is one of a series of weekly Christian reflections and prayers for the IF campaign that focuses on the theme of 'Our Daily Bread', with contributors from CAFOD, Tearfund and Christian Aid.
This week's reflection is a contribution from CAFOD.
In the gospel, Jesus leaves patent signs of a beautiful piece of good news. We discover life's full meaning when we allow ourselves to become centred within, when we share with others what we need for life and when we love to the extent of giving our own lives for the sake of human dignity.
'The one who wants to win life loses it, but the one who loses it for others wins it', the gospel reminds us.
But in today's world, we put a price on everything. We seek to convert everything into money.
The big companies don't produce according to human needs across the planet, but according to the capacity of those who can buy.
‘Food is lacking on tens of millions of tables. But is there really a food shortage on the planet?'
For the world's food producers, there are people who can pay. But hungry people, who don't have any money, don't exist for those producers who want to make money and concentrate capital.
We know well that, in today's world, there are millions of people who don't have access to food, health, education, dignified employment and, most of all, a dignified life.
Food is lacking on tens of millions of tables. There is a lack of jobs. Millions of girls and boys don't go to school because they have to work to scrape a living in the coldness of the society of opulence.
There is no bread on the table of hungry people.
But is there really a food shortage on the planet? Is overpopulation the reason for the lack of jobs?
Data tells us that there are enough resources and goods to cover all basic human needs. Food and the resources for a dignified life aren't lacking because there isn't enough to go around, but because we have lost our way and life's meaning.
What we have lost is our ability to share.
We have lost the ethical and spiritual sense of ourselves as human beings who receive life as God's gift.
We have lost the path that guides us and enables us to discover through experience that our life acquires plenitude only when, instead of hoarding, we share and when, instead of accumulating, we open ourselves in solidarity with others.
The gospel helps us to discover ourselves as a gift. Everything has been given to us. We are like bread, kneaded by God's love.
We need to discover ourselves as individuals and peoples who go forward in life, not through our own efforts and resources, but because we allow ourselves to be kneaded by the God of Life, as food to be shared out in equal portions amongst all of humanity.
Discovering ourselves as God's gift for sharing will convert our daily bread into a living sacrament.
With time, it will enable all human beings to become companions on the path, who generously carry the troubles and sorrows, the triumphs and defeats, the sadness and tenderness of others, not as the load of others, but as our own.
And so, by sharing our daily bread we become sisters and brothers, with enough food for everyone. And also as something we care for, whilst we are working, so that we can give and share it, with the same love that we received it, to the coming generations.
Ismael Moreno SJ, director of ERIC (Team for Reflection, Research and Communication), a CAFOD partner in Honduras.
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