Throughout the year, you are invited and encouraged to participate in a variety of food drives, both here in our parish and – I’m sure – from a number of charitable agencies in our area and around the world. In the name of all of those you feed with the support you provide, I thank you for responding to our Lord’s call to feed the hungry. The summer is a particularly challenging time for these agencies and I would like to invite you to participate in a food drive that we sponsor every year to help some of the parishioners in our sister parish, St. Martin de Porres. As you can well imagine with the sharp increase in food prices, our support is especially important this year.
We’re all familiar with the gospel accounts of Jesus feeding large crowds; it’s one of the few stories of Jesus’ public ministry that we find in all four gospels (cf. Mt 14:13-21, 15:32-38; Mk 6:32-44; Lk 9:10-17; Jn 6:1-13). The accounts all begin with Jesus curing the sick or teaching the crowds at length and when it gets late the disciples ask him to send the crowd away so that people can buy themselves some food. Jesus directs the disciples to give the crowd food themselves. The disciples complain that they do not have nearly enough food for so many. Jesus tells them to go and see what they do have. They bring it to him and with it he feeds thousands! It is in this spirit that we share in feeding the hungry today, aware that our efforts are multiplied abundantly with our Lord’s help.
Every year, the Nutritional Development Services Office of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia invites all of the parishes throughout the Archdiocese to participate in the MANNA food drive. Each parish is, in turn, allowed to choose which Archdiocesan food center will receive their donations. Due to our close relationship with St. Martin de Porres parish, our sister parish, we select its food cupboard to receive the food we gather through this drive. You will find brown shopping bags on the tables at the church entrances this weekend; you may also use your own bags, if you prefer. Please fill them up with non-perishable food and return it to the parish library. We will deliver the food to St. Martin de Porres food cupboard to help them feed their hungry throughout the summer so feel free to drop off your donation at any time over these summer months.
Jesus, many times throughout your life, you fed hungry people and you called others to help. You called the young child with the loaves and fishes to share his gifts. You call each one of us today. Open our eyes to see the needs of others. Open our ears to hear your call to share. Open our hearts to welcome all people to the table of love. Amen.