A Hindu saying goes “Food is important in gaining spiritual knowledge.” How can a child pray, deeply, if he or she is imagining a cup of steaming rice, a fried anchovy, and a serving of sauteed vegetables? If we would examine the Scriptures, the feeding of hungry people, is part of the miracle ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ (Cf. Mt. 14:13-21; Mk. 6:31-44; Lk. 9:10-17; Jn. 6:5-15; Mk 8:1-9; at Mt. 15:32-39).
In the Philippines, there are lots of children suffering from malnutrition. However, the advertisement telling the public that the world’s suffering from food shortage is totally untrue. Because if it is the truth, fast food chains like McDonald’s, Jollibee, Chowking, and others would close shop due to the lack of ingredients for the food that they’re selling. The real problem of the Filipino family is money. This is a result of vast joblessness. If there are jobs, the salaries or wages are not enough to sustain the family’s daily needs.
The Social Weather Stations’ latest survey says, around 13.8 million people are jobless; the figure is higher than the December 2011 data of 9.7 million.
St. James the Apostle said:
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world (1:27, NASB).
The caring for the poor and the underprivileged is the true essence of the Christian religion. Part of this thrust or philosophy is ensuring that everybody would be given his fair share of God’s abundant blessings like food and other basic needs.
St. Paul adds, it is the love for your neighbor is the most important thing in exercising one’s faith. What is the benefit of the ability of doing miraculous things, speaking the language of the angels, if you have the heart of stone? (1 Cor. 13).
Caring for the children, especially those who live in poverty, does not mean to give alms everyday just to have them something to eat. (Although this is a good practice, as Ecclessiastes 11:1 tells us: “Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you. (New Living Translation).” What we mean is, we hope that the government and the business sector would give the parents of these poor children a steady source of income. Do you think, malnutrition and hunger among children would still be rampant if their parents have enough money to buy food?
* Matthew 14:16, NAB
This the English translation of what has been published in Balitang Akap-Bata, June 2012