The First Reading from Isaiah 58:7-10 at today’s Sunday Mass tugs at my heart deeply because it points the finger back at us as to why millions of children and adults are unnecessarily dying every day.

    Thus says the LORD: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
    If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

According to the United Nations, about 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes. One person dying from hunger every three and a half seconds. That is senseless to me. These people are not dying because they do not want to eat, or because there is not any food available in the world for them to eat. No! They are dying because we are not there to feed them. We are not there being Jesus for them.
Our choices are absolutely clear. We can either sit on our collective rear ends and complain about all of the poverty, hunger, exploitation, and violence in the world or we can Cooperate with God and be His agents of peace in these chaotic situations.
People who are ignorant to God often say that God must not exist because of all the evil, wars, corruptness, and senseless dying in the world. God is not what is missing in these situations! Rather, it is His agents of love and peace who are often intentionally absent! I have a suspicion that God is telling His angels that, ‘True disciples of my Son must no longer exist because there is too much suffering in the world; surely if there were any disciples around then there would not be this much suffering.’ Sounds ridiculous, does it not? Well, so does the opposite!
God’s solution to solving world hunger and malnutrition is us through His abundant grace! God has been trying to teach and compel humans to love on each other rightly from the very beginning, and this attitude of wanting God Himself to fix every problem that our freewill has caused is not going to teach us how to love each other as we were commanded to do. What parent does not eventually train their child how to perform simple task without their help?
Historically, has God sent angels or humans to inspire His children to repent and accept the Yoke of Heaven? God has not changed. He continues to do what He always has; that is, to send out dirt to help save other dirt. The formula of Cooperating of God has never been more clearly explained than as we find it in this passage from Isaiah. God has given us the free choice to shape our world in a way that is reflective of the love that He gave us to share. And by giving us the living example of His Son, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and the gifts, sacraments, teaching office, and healing ministry of the Church, He has effectively given us all that we need to ensure that our neighbor’s needs are met where ever they are.
There is no reason whatsoever why people should still be dying of hunger related deaths at this point in human history, but they continue to because too many of us are not sharing the life, resources, and gifts that has given to share. We are being intentionally ignorant to our neighbor’s needs and selfish, and 25,000+ deaths of day of hunger proves it. All of us have to do better by our neighbor and God has given us all that we need to do better. So let’s get at it!

Jesus, help me help my neighbor. Amen.

Scripture texts in this blog are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.