Feed them yourselves

World Refugee Day Borys Fiodorowicz“Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met, the lawyers said. Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk.” – From ‘There Is a Stench’: No Soap and Overcrowding in Detention Centers for Migrant Children, New York Times, June 21, 2019

Mary Jesus in CageA 14-year-old girl from Guatemala said she had been holding two little girls in her lap.“I need comfort, too. I am bigger than they are, but I am a child, too,” she said. –From Attorneys: Texas border facility is neglecting migrant kids, AP News

Today we celebrate the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Today’s Gospel is embedded upon my heart. When the disciples were pretty much about to dismiss the crowd because they were in a deserted place and seemed to lack the resources (or the will) to care for them. Jesus said to them:

“Give them some food yourselves.”

Today he might add that toothbrushes, sleep, Continue reading

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Enough is enough – Part 3

OK, here we are for part 3 of this series founded in the Feast of Corpus Christi. We’ve talked about Eucharist, who deserves to be fed, and how real food matters in part 1 and part 2. Today is the final installment, because enough really is enough. Thank you for reading!

enough-550x250Let us take a look at some of where our tax dollars are going to in the shadow of not only this church feast, but also in the shadow of Memorial Day, when we honor our war dead. I am not against the military per se, and I have war veterans in my immediate family including my WWII fighting father, and my recently retired from the Army nephew. He served in Kosovo during horrible times, and did 4 tours in Iraq. However, we spend a lot of money on the machines of war, so that we might have peace. And bread.

fig-3-19450809-urakamiIn another shadow, that of Hiroshima, President Obama (hey I voted for the guy so let’s just get that out there, I voted for him twice) we see a man torn between his anti-nuclear promises and passions and a president who has “put us on course” to spend over a trillion dollars to updgrade the nuclear arsenal over the next three decades. We seem to have enough for that!

I know I am getting lecture-y sounding, I’m sorry, but I keep seeing anxious, depressed, hungry people with scruffy and also hungry children and it kind of gets me down, OK? It is hard for me to understand that there is “not enough.” More often this cry of not enough comes from the other side of the political aisle, and so often I find that it is a kind of pandering that never puts the greater common good first. How have we lost sight of Continue reading

Enough is enough – Part 2

Thanks for coming back. Just in case you are not returning, this post began yesterday  with Enough is enough – Part One. You can check that out here if you missed it, and continue here. I’m on a bit of ramble about Sunday’s Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ and what that means in real life today. At least from my perspective.

hunger-facts-slider-2-1Each day as I sit at my desk I answer the phone and the door, often greeting people in the rectory of a suburban parish who come to us because they do not have enough food. The vast majority of the people who come for help are white, largely the working (if they are lucky) poor. People who have fallen through the cracks for one reason or another. I’m guessing most of them never saw college as an option, but some may have. I don’t know. The jobs they have are usually fast food or retail, jobs that pay very poorly and that offer few benefits.

Now it is nice to sit in the comfort of our own homes and tsk task that “those people” should not want cable television, internet service, or an iPhone. Their kids should not get the nice athletic shoes our kids get nor the clothes. And they certainly shouldn’t smoke or have a decent car! After all, if they worked harder (really???) and did without, they could Continue reading

Enough is enough – Part 1

Philco-fridge-GailsmileThe little girl watched as scraps of leftovers were wrapped up in “tin foil,” placed carefully in the old refrigerator. It the kind where one big, old, heavy door opened to reveal a small inner freezer that was in seemingly constant need of defrosting. If you are younger than maybe 40, you may have no idea what this is – well, what this was. If you are under 30, I’m pretty certain you do not have a living recollection of it, at least most of you won’t.  Anyway, I digress. It was simply made very clear that nothing was to go to waste because there might not be enough for later or tomorrow.

Reynolds55The little girl was me, and the wrapper-upper of food was my mom. The old fridge was in the kitchen of our apartment, and “tin foil” was what we called aluminum foil. My mother was born in 1914 and raised in a very poor family in New York City. By time the Depression rolled around in 1929, my then 15 year old mother was already out of school for two years, quitting to go to work to help the impoverished family. Worries about “enough” were very real. I did not grow up in poverty, nor did I grow up in luxury. Thus we were very careful about not throwing out that which might be of use. The struggle was real – there might not be enough!

This has left its imprint upon me in ways that I am only beginning to understand now that I am headed to age Continue reading