JUST Gospel: Scriptural Foundations of Bishops’ Writing on Hunger

Sister Kathleen Murphy

January 04, 2015

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy invites continued reflection on the United States Cathlic Bishops Document For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food.

Let us rejoin the U.S. Bishops in our continued consideration of For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food. This month, we look at the Scriptural foundation for the Bishops’ writing. The document states: “Because we are a community of faith, our response to… the present realities and trends in agriculture is shaped by the truths of the Scripture and the principles of Catholic social teaching, not just by economics or politics.

Seed and SowerWhen believers think about agriculture, we begin with the story of Creation. “God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good” (Gn 1:31). Those who provide our food are called to continue God’s plan for creation.

Throughout the Scripture, we hear of an enduring vision of “new heavens and a new earth” (Is 65:17) where God’s justice will reign (cf. 2 Pt 3:12, Rev 21:1). The Old Testament calls us to care for the land and provide for those who need food, especially those who are poor and outcast. The tradition of the Sabbath Year is one example: “But during the seventh year the land shall have a complete rest, a sabbath for the Lord, when you may neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard” (Lv 25:4). God explains to Moses that the land should be used to provide food for all who need it: “While the land has its sabbath, all its produce will be food equally for you yourself and . . . for your hired help and the tenants who live with you . . .” (Lv 25:6).

Time and again Jesus warned us against selfishness and greed and called us to feed the hungry and show special concern for those who are poor. In the story of the Last Judgment, Jesus reminds us that one of the fundamental measures of our lives will be how we cared for people in need: “For I was hungry and you gave me food” (Mt 25:35). “

This month may provide the opportunity to spend some extra time in prayer with the Scripture passages cited above. It may offer the chance to walk outdoors and appreciate the gifts of creation around you or to take a bit of extra time with your meal prayer in order to thank the God who gifts us through the fruits of the earth (Photo: Clickhere)

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