Some may recall a few years ago, on Memorial Day weekend, nearly half a million people joined hands along a 4,152-mile-long line across the U.S. to raise funds – and consciousness – to fight hunger and homelessness.  People linked up for fifteen minutes and sang “We are the World,” the theme song of the campaign, and “America the Beautiful,” joyfully celebrating the day and the singleness of purpose from sea to shining sea.  On that very day, Sport Aid, a campaign for African famine relief, attracted twenty million people in seventy-eight countries.  Million of people the world over tried to reach out and touch the hungry of the world – a sudden burst of compassion.  A near miracle!!

The New Testament tells a story of how Jesus performed a real miracle to feed five thousand hungry people in the desert.  He performed this miracle only after reminding His disciples, and each of us of our obligation to feed the poor.  Jesus had just heard the sad news of John the Baptist’s murder.  His heart was full of sorrow, and He went out into the desert to be alone for a while.  But the people would not leave Him alone.  Suddenly there is a large crowd gathered around Him.  As usual He begins to teach, to heal and to console.  The day wore on and the night was approaching.  The disciples wanted the crowd to disperse presumably to have their own meal on time and take their rest.  But the Lord would have none of it.  His message as always is clear: There is no need for them to leave.  “…give them something to eat yourselves.”  The disciples’ solution to the problem, if it was a solution at all, was to “pass the buck” and deny responsibility or pass it on to someone else.

I suppose the disciples were forerunners of those among us who see the hungry faces of men, women and children flashing on TV screens and change stations.  Or see them on our streets or near our churches and walk right by.  We often do not want to know that some reasons for their poverty are beyond their control – like prolonged drought and soil-erosion or homelessness or illness or financial loss.  The question for us today is to understand the Lord’s attitude, the Christian attitude, toward poverty and hunger.

In the desert that day Jesus didn’t ask them questions about their income or their work or lack of it.  He just fed them.  Because He was compassionate: because His heart was moved with concern for them.  Indeed, He gave them more than they expected:  He not only fed them bread but healed their infirmities – not only feeding the hunger of their bodies but the hunger of their minds and hearts.  The Lord is making a powerful statement of love upon a world of selfishness.  After all, is there not in our day a huge famine of faith and hope and a big drought of love and caring for those who have less?

What we can do is to look at the faces of our unfortunate brothers and sisters – the hungry, the jobless and the homeless.  What we can do is examine our conscience in the light of Christ’s example of selflessness and begin to share our time, our talent and our wealth with those who have less.

I personally am very proud of many of our people at Annunciation-Our Lady of Fatima.  Your many kindnesses to those who are our less fortunate brothers and sister have continued to bring the Lord’s love to others.  We bring clothes, food and toiletries to the homeless, on “Midnight Run”.  Every week much food is collected in our Church and sent to the homeless.  And much more.

Your have learned well from the Lord that people are more important than gold and silver.  Thank you for all your do for the least of our brother and sisters.  Never allow other to change this priority!