18 Sunday in Ordinary Time - A
Give them some food yourselves.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”
It’s obvious that today’s Gospel is presenting us the miracle of the multiplication of food as an announcement, a foretelling of this what is happening on the altar during every Eucharistic celebration. But I think that this event is bringing to our minds also some social justice issues. We cannot avoid this problem, because Jesus is telling openly: “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.”
According to the report PNUD “Reconsidérer la Richesse” prepared by Patrick Viveret in 1998
• We need 6 billion dollars yearly to assure the education for all children in the world who are not yet in school
• At the same time in the USA, people spend annually 8 billion dollars on perfumes
• Nearly 1 billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
• The world needs 13 billion dollars annually to feed all who are hungry
• At the same time in the USA, 25 billion dollars is spent each year on pet food
So, wealthy Christians in the USA are spending almost twice as much on pet food as is needed to feed the hungry of the whole world.
• Each day some 30 thousand children under the age of 5 are dying due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.” That is about 210,000 children each week, or just under 11 million children under five years of age, each year.
• Each day in France with a population of 63 million, 60 thousand tons of food goes to the garbage
The 3 richest people (and two of them are Christians) in the world have more total wealth than the total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the world’s 48 poorest countries.
GDP = 46 billion 890 million dollars almost 50 billions dollars
Global Priority $U.S. (Billions)
Basic education for all 6 billion
Water and sanitation for all 9 billion
Reproductive health care for all women 12 billion
Basic health and nutrition 13 billion
Total 40 billion
Military spending in the world 780 billion
only in USA 550 billion
We are fortunate. We have much more than what we need to be content. 20% of the population in the developed nations consume 86% of the world’s goods.
Let’s try not to feed this endless cycle of consumerism and immorality in which this “modern and advanced” society forgets and ignores the other two thirds of our brothers and sisters.
“The biggest scandal of the contemporary world and especially of the Christianity is that while in one corner of this world thousands of people is starving every day, at the same time in the other corner of the same world thousands of people is dying because of the health problems caused by obesity.”