Posted by: fvbcdm | January 30, 2014

Feast of Saint Hyacinth of Viterbo (30 January 2014)

 

 

The connection between what we read in the newspapers and what we read in Sacred Scripture and in our liturgy of the Word at Mass each day is often striking. Yesterday, I received word that the mother of one of our Dominican confreres who is a missionary in Kisumu, Kenya, died in New Orleans.  He will not be able to go home for the funeral.  Then, in the morning paper, I read that the fighting in the Kenyan civil war is particularly fierce in the Kisumu area, and we hear that many of the people there have sought refuge from the bullets, bombs, and machetes of the fighting men in the monastery of our Dominican Nuns there.

Then in this morning’s paper, which I read as I ate my breakfast, reports that some of the poorest people of Haiti are making cookies with dirt so as to assuage the hunger pangs in their bellies.  In this country, just a few miles away, obesity is a major problem and we constantly hear about diets and how to eat less.  And in the gospel we hear Our Lord say, “I was hungry and you gave me NO food; I was thirsty and you gave me NO drink . . .”

I can imagine that the Pope, from his vantage point in the Holy See, looks with deep sorrow upon the starving people of Haiti and of various parts of Africa, and wonders how, after two thousand years of Christianity, there can be hungry people on this abundant planet of ours.  Why are we so interested in warfare, in nuclear weapons, in the production of oil, in the building of roads, and so uninterested in feeding the hungry of the world?

I remember some years ago, there was an article in some newsmagazine about the wife of Haiti’s president, “Baby Doc” Duvalier.  She had about twenty-five very expensive fur coats.  A reporter asked her why, since it never gets cold enough in Haiti to wear a fur coat.  She answered, “We travel.”  And we all know of the famous Imelda Marcos, wife of the then-president of the Philippines, with her 500 pairs of shoes.  There are many in the Philippines who have no shoes at all.  And she was a Catholic.

I am not condemning travel or advocating that we give all our shoes away. But I am suggesting that if the legitimate needs of the world’s poor were at the top of the agenda of the others on our planet, we would be better Christians or Jews or Muslims or whatever we claim to be in terms of our relationship with our God. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This is a CDM composed by Father Brown in the past.

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