Most of us have marked the last week in any of several ways – Thanksgiving and the beginning of Hanukkah on Thursday, Black Friday for intense bargain hunters (and some even shopped on Thursday this year), Small Business Saturday to support locally owned merchants, the beginning of Advent on Sunday and Cyber Monday for those seeking online sales. Enter into the mix “Giving Tuesday,” a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations.
The move away from a focus on consuming and buying to an emphasis on charitable giving is refreshing. ’Tis the season to reach out in care and compassion to those most in need among us. Yet another opportunity to be in spiritual solidarity with the poor begins on December 10. Pope Francis and Caritas International are launching a world-wide campaign to combat hunger called One Human Family, Food for All. Caritas Internationalis (CI) is a global confederation of 165 Catholic organizations working in humanitarian emergencies and international development.
Although the idea originated with the Pope and Catholic groups, anyone can participate in a global “wave of prayer” to kick off this campaign. All are invited to pray at noon in each time zone around the world next Tuesday. I’ll be praying in Snidow Chapel from noon to 12:30 and invite you to join me or simply pause wherever you happen to be at noon and join your own prayers to a global wave in trust and confidence that there is a spiritual power far beyond our wildest imaginations. May our planet-wide prayers bring us closer to the Reign of God where the hungry will be fed and those of us who have plenty will share more generously with those who have far too little in our world.
Loaves and Fishes
Sharing the loaves and fishes,
You gave us an image of solidarity with the hungry, O Lord.
Sharing yourself in the Bread and Wine,
You called all to the table, O Lord.
Give me the hunger to be a part of the feeding
And the healing of this world.
Nourish me with your Grace,
So I may work with joy to serve your children.
Open my eyes and my heart
To recognize those in poverty
And increase my awareness
Of the structures and systems
That need to be changed
So we may all break bread together.
In your name we pray for the end of hunger.