This year, Gesu Parish has embraced a Corporal Works of Mercy theme. Each month, the parish will select on a different issue and provide activities for you and your family to incorporate into your daily lives. (Click here to read more about Gesu's Year of Mercy and their annual One Book, One Parish selection Mercy in the City, by Kerry Webber)
October - Feed the Hungry
Feeding the Hungry
We live in a world of food abundance. However, statistics from 2010 indicate that food waste reached a staggering 31% loss at the retail and consumer levels. Surrounded by this abundance and waste are food deserts, where those who struggle under poverty and negligence are unable to find healthy food choices. Children in these areas rely on food provided at school as their only source of a decent meal. Fresh produce is expensive or unavailable. Unhealthy choices of high calorie, processed foods are not an option, they are the only thing available. How are we, as disciples of Christ, called to respond to those who are hungry?
In John 6, in his Bread of Life discourse, Jesus tells his followers that his flesh is true food and his blood true drink. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (Jn 6:56). This, we are told, is requisite for eternal life. Our belief in this Bread of Life shines through us when we interact with others. Our lives must be beacons to others so that they might come to Jesus to have their spiritual hunger satisfied. At the least, Jesus feeds us so that in turn, we can fill this basic need in others.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us that feeding the hungry is one of the benchmarks for our final judgement. “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom...for I was hungry and you gave me food…” We are called to perform the corporal works of mercy at the most basic level. Nothing abstract or metaphysical -- we are called to give food to those who are hungry. There is no qualifying aspect to this command. We are commanded to feed and care for those in need without judgement or critique.
What does Gesu Parish do:
• Prepare and serve meals at St. Patrick’s
• Sagrada Familia meal
• Collection for the Food Pantry at Our Lady of Peace
• Operation Rice Bowl (Lent)
• Year long donations to the Gesu Food Fund
What can you do?
• Learn about where food comes from and pray for those who bring it to us.
• Bring a donation for the OLP Food Pantry each weekend.
• Shop for someone who is unable to get to a store easily.
• Help make dinner, and offer to clean up afterward.
• Invite a family to dinner - perhaps someone who is out of work.
• Pray for those who go hungry each day in our cities, country and world.
• Contribute to our Gesu Food Fund.
• This month is the St. Vincent de Paul Blanket Collection - (monetary donations only this year)
• Your own idea: ______________________
Mercy in the City: Read Chapters 1-3
1) How do you celebrate important (and not so important) events? Are there ways you can include the hungry?
2) Do you worry about how people might react when you make a sacrifice?
3) Do you see yourself as an example of living the Chirstian life?
4) Kerry Weber ends chapter 2 contemplating what spiritual growth she has experienced by giving up something for Lent. Have you considered how you have spiritually grown though your actions?