Sunday, June 18, 2017
by Katie Kearns
I am hungry! It is a common phrase — we say it all the time. But, do we mean it? Are we physically hungry for nourishment from food? Or, are we hungry for something more? I believe most people are truly hungry for something more.
Balise Pascal said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
When most people say they are hungry, I believe they are hungry for something more….something to end their loneliness, to end their suffering, to end whatever is bothering them at that moment. People want to feel better right away. Food is an easy way to feel better as soon as possible.
How do I know this? The obesity rate in America. Two out of every three Americans are considered to be overweight or obese. (World Health Organization) People are feeding themselves for many reasons including the spiritual. People are spiritually hungry; but, don’t know how to feed themselves. People think losing weight or being at a healthy weight is about magic happening or certain foods..but it is bigger than all of that..it is finding out why you are really eating? Why are you hungry?
People are even trying to feed themselves with technology — and it isn’t working. Injury Facts says, ” distracted walking incidents involving cell phones accounted for more than 11,100 injuries between 2000 and 2011. “ People can also feed their hunger with purchasing things they don’t need, or drinking too much alcohol…there are millions of ways we can feed our hunger. But, will it fill us up?
I have been one of those people looking at my phone and walking into things. I admit it.
I have also been one of those people who eats when I am bored or lonely. Why?
Well, my humanity, my hubris, makes me disregard today’s readings. ” I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you do not have life within you.” Our hunger is something far greater than anything that can be filled with food or technology. But it can be filled with community, our self love and our mutual humanity…all of which we can find at the altar. I believe it means participating in the Eucharist on Sundays; but, it is also something so much more. I believe the hunger also needs to be filled in becoming part of a community and participating in the larger world around us. It means acknowledging and accepting all hungry people, whether or not they come to Old St Pat’s or even believe in God. We can fill our hunger in so many ways; but, only if we are open to considering the idea of why we are hungry?
I believe we reach for food or technology because it is easy. It is not easy to sit and ponder why am I hungry? It is hard. It is a Gethsemane. It is a cross.
It is a question with millions of answers: Why am I hungry?