Sunday, July 29, 2018

God working with us, says Fr. Dzungwe - ITREALMS

One of the greatest scandals of our time is that while some people do not have enough to eat, some others are dying from obesity and diseases associated with over eating. There is so much wealth in our world. But it is concentrated in the hands of some, while others scramble for the leftovers.

Many of us well-meaning people are concerned about the poverty in our world. Many of us contribute regularly to various international charities that help the poor, such as Concern and Trocaire. But have you ever stopped to wonder why, despite the billions that have been spent on international Aid, poverty is still on the increase. As the saying goes, the rich get richer, and the poor become poorer.

To answer the question on why poverty is increasing in our world, let’s cast our minds back to the time of the famine in Ireland. We all know that the failure of potatoes was not the only reason why hundreds of thousands died from the famine. Yes, potatoes failed. But if there should be 100% failure of potatoes in Ireland today, you can bet that there will be no famine at all. People will still survive. People will still have enough to eat. Hundreds of thousands died from the Irish famine because of the nature of the externally influenced socio-economic structure of the then Irish society.

Something similar is happening in our world today. It is not because they are lazy that people are poor. It is the present structure of international trade, the present structure of international economics, and the present structure of international relations that make people poor, and keep them in poverty. So much so that the little the poor have, and the little you contribute to make their lives better, evaporate from their hands, and go back to make the rich richer, because of the way international economics is structured.

You might then ask, what shall we do? Do we stop giving to charities for international development? No. we should not stop. We should continue to give to international charities to help the poor. Their work provides temporary relief to people in need. But let us know that if we really want to end poverty in our world, we need to change the way we do business. We need to pull down all unjust economic structures that keep the poor in their poverty and enable the rich to become richer.

As individuals we might feel intimidated that there is nothing we can do. But that’s not true. There is a lot we can do to change our world and end poverty. We can begin by putting pressure on our political leaders to help bring the change. We can begin by changing the way we do business.

Our efforts may look small in our eyes. But as today’s gospel passage teaches us, they may be the only five loaves that Jesus is waiting to take and multiply and feed the whole world. Jesus wants to change our world and end poverty. But he can’t do it without our help. He cannot force us, for he respects our freewill. He wants to work with us to make our world a better place. Let us offer to Jesus the five loaves with which he will end poverty. If there is any doubt in your mind about what God can do with the little efforts we make, remember people like Martin Luther King Jnr, Oscar Romero, Mahatma Gandhi, and see how God increased and multiplied what they did, and created a beautiful change.

*Contributed by Rev.Father Simon Peter Dzungwe

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