One of the symptoms of the human condition is hunger. No matter how rich you are, no matter how much food you have, you have probably felt hungry before. Hunger is the body’s way of telling us that we need sustenance. It tells that there is something lacking, a void that needs to be filled.
Of course, hunger is an uncomfortable position to be in. It makes makes us weak. It gnaws our bones. We feel it overriding everything in our hearts and minds. Unfulfilled and deprived of nourishment, the body soon consumes itself to fulfill the basic requirements of living. Eventually, if left to run its course, hunger will kill us. This is the situation for millions of souls all over the world. Poverty and a lack of resources are killing people and it is an enemy that is hard to defeat. It is therefore a very serious matter to address. I have a friend in the National Food Authority who has made it his mission in life to end hunger in my country and there is much to be proud of to be a soldier in that cause.
Hunger is not just limited to our need for food. There are other forms of sustenance that we seek. We hunger for warmth. We hunger for human contact. We hunger for acceptance. We hunger for companionship. We hunger for love. Worse yet, we sometimes hunger for things that we do not even understand. We seek answers for questions undefined.
I am reminded of this as I read through today’s readings. In the First Reading, taken from the Book of Kings, we find Elijah hungry and alone. He then meets a widow along the way and he begs for food from her. Back then, being a widow unfortunately meant that she was probably poor and she too was hungry. This was the case for the widow Elijah met, yet she still made a simple cake made of flour and oil, food that was meant for her and for her son. In gratitude, Elijah promised her that she would never run out of flour and oil until the drought that afflicted the land had ended. This promise was made true by the power of God, ensuring that the widow and her son would not die of hunger.
In the Gospel today, we hear of another widow. She too was probably hungry. She too was probably at her wit’s end, looking for ways for her and her children to survive. Yet at the synagogue on that day, she gave all of her money, so much so that Jesus saw her and remarked that she had given far more than all of the other rich men and women combined, for she had given everything that she had owned.
In both cases, there is an implicit suggestion of trust. You do not give up everything you own if you did not trust in a greater power, the power of God. It is written, that the Lord takes care of even the sparrows in the sky, and are we not more important than those same birds? This trust sustains us and gives us something that is more powerful than hunger – hope.
Tomorrow some of us will be hungry. Some of us do not even know how we will fulfill this hunger. In the end trust is all that we have to face this hunger. Trust in God is where we find real and true nourishment. He provides us with Bread that never ceases to satisfy and food that is everlasting. I pray that tomorrow we each find an answer to our hunger and no matter who you are, know that God loves you and He will end your hunger.