Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Hunger: Whether literal or spiritual hunger propels us toward God. When our bellies are empty our prayers are for food. When our bellies are full what then?

While meeting with British workers in 1931 in Lancashire, England about hunger in India, Gandhi said, “It is good enough to talk of God whilst we are sitting here after a nice breakfast and looking forward to a nicer luncheon. But how am I to talk of God to the millions who have to go without two meals a day? To them God can only appear as bread and butter.”

Elsewhere Gandhi said, “For the poor the economic is the spiritual. You cannot make any other appeal to those starving millions. It will fall flat on them.”

He’s pointing to the fact that the carnal and spiritual are not unconnected: our incarnate God knows that bodies matter. Healing bodies, feeding bodies, mending, making whole, all mattered to Jesus who in humility took on flesh to dwell among the poor, marginalized, outcast, and exiled.

May even our deepest spiritual hunger be grounded in God in this way: O God, to those who have hunger, give bread, and to us who have bread, give the hunger for justice (prayer from Latin America). And may we follow Pope Francis’ wisdom who says, “You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. This is how prayer works.”

Praying the Alphabet
Hallowed be thy name, O Divine Love,
who holds us in the hollow of holiness,
and hones our humility.
When a hum of hatred
abandons the hungry
and halts healing;
when the hostilities haunt us;
when hope is held at bay,
we long for holy home,
where hope is harbored,
and heavenly hosts sing hallelujah.
Hold us in every hardship. Amen.