One day a little boy came home from Sunday School and told his father that he knew what the word Bible stands for. “Okay”, said his father, “Tell me.” The little boy proudly said, “BIBLE stands for “Basic Information Before Leaving Earth.” No wonder Jesus loves children. In the bible there is a lot of information and instructions that Jesus is straight forward about. When Jesus asked his disciple Peter, (Do you love me?) Peter answered, yes. Then Jesus said, “If you love me, feed my sheep.” Every Franciscan missionary knows that there is a lot of work that needs to be done before leaving Earth. They are grateful to God for your help.
Jesus Needs Bread
A Little ‘Bread’ Goes A Long Way… On an evening in the desert after a long day of teaching and healing, Jesus knew that the five thousand people gathered there were hungry. So, He told his disciples to feed them. Was He kidding? That’s what the disciples might have thought, because all they had were five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus wasn’t kidding! He said, “Bring them here.” He took the five loaves of bread and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. They passed the food around. Everyone ate. When all had finished eating there were twelve baskets of leftovers! In our world, hunger is a universal disgrace when men, women and children go to bed hungry, and some never wake up. When you support the ministries of the Franciscans you are indeed helping Jesus feed the hungry. He’s not kidding – He needs your bread.
Our Daily Bread
Everyday Jesus sees people who are in desperate need rummaging through garbage piles seeking things that can be used – discarded blankets to keep them warm – cans containing left over food – shoes that may or may not fit their bare feet – glasses that might help their poor eye sight, etc. Having no ‘bread’means having insufficient necessities in order to live. How much daily bread does one need? One needs at least one square meal a day, safe drinking water, adequate clothing and shelter. For the desperately poor, anything more than that is considered a luxury. Jesus also sees you, and knows that because you are grateful for your daily bread you are gladly sharing with others.
Leftovers is a common household word in North America. Leftovers are rarely found in Franciscan missions in developing countries. Every scrap of food that can be used is used to make soup in Franciscan soup kitchens around the world. People from African villages wait in line at the Franciscan centers to receive enough flour, sugar and oil that will last for one week. Village people walk for miles to the nearest clinic hoping to find a doctor who will give them the medicine that they need, if there is any. Ironically, some people hate leftovers and others need them in order to live.