What: Feeding the Hungry & Giving Drink to the Thirsty
As we enter into Holy Week and the Easter Season, we are reminded that Christ has given us His body and blood as the food and drink to nourish us in our journey until the day when we are fully united with Him in His heavenly kingdom.
Feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty are Corporal Works of Mercy. The Corporal Works of Mercy are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for how we should treat all others, as if they were Christ in disguise. They "are charitable actions by which we help our neighbors in their bodily needs" (USCCA). They respond to the basic needs of humanity as we journey together through this life. (USCCB)
If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So, faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. (James 2:15-17)
This month's challenge will help you build a civilization of love by helping people to meet their physical needs of food and drink. In doing so, we give witness to Christ as the Bread of Life and the Living Water.
Pick your CHALLENGE:
- Get to know St. Vincent de Paul, the patron saint of charitable works.
Feed the hungry
There are many people in this world who go without food. When so much of our food goes to waste, consider how good stewardship practices of your own food habits can benefit others who do not have those same resources.
- Having delicious food at your Easter dinner? Donate food for an Easter meal to a food drive so everyone can have something to eat.
- Research, identify and contribute to organizations that serve the hungry.
- Gather a group of friends, family, parishioners, or neighbors for a food packing event
- The next time you make a recipe, make a double batch and a portion to a neighbor in need.
- Try not to purchase more food than you are able to eat. If you notice that you end up throwing groceries away each week, purchasing less groceries would eliminate waste and allow you to donate the savings to those in need.
- Create a "little free food pantry". In the same vein as the popular "little free libraries", you can create a place for people to drop off the non-perishable food items they don't want or need and take what they do need.
Give drink to the thirsty
Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ do not have access to clean water and suffer from the lack of this basic necessity. We should support the efforts of those working towards greater accessibility of this essential resource.
- We take it for granted that we have access to clean water. Whether it is a systemic lack of access to clean water or in the wake of a disaster, potable water is life.
- Organize a group of children involved on a sports team (e.g. soccer), a summer camp, or a young adult group. Invite them to collect bottled water to distribute at a shelter for families. If parents can be involved, ask them to accompany their children in delivering the water to the families.
- Look at what your water bill was for this time last year. Then make an effort not to waste water, and then donate the amount of money you saved this year as compared to last year.
- Ways to save water:
- Install rain barrels off your gutters to use for watering your garden
- Install high efficiency items in your home such as dishwashers and toilets
- Don't leave the water running while you brush your teeth, or wash dishes
- Only wash full loads of clothes
- Ways to save water:
- Set up a free drink stand of bottled water, lemonade etc. in your neighborhood, near a construction crew, or sports practice.
Set your GOAL:
Depending on your challenge, you will want to set yourself a goal - whether it be material, financial, or spiritual. Some examples include:
- Start a member conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society at your parish
- Cut your water bill by 10% and donate the difference to disaster relief
- Get 5 friends to start a little free food pantry in their neighborhood
- Make one extra meal per week for a family in need
- Collect enough funds or food items for 10 families to have an Easter dinner
Determine your AUDIENCE:
Who do you want to join you in your monthly challenge?
- Just yourself!
- Your family and friends
- Your parish
- Your social media friends
- Or whomever you want!
Once you know what you are going to do, click "Share" to tell us your idea! We encourage you to upload a picture of how you're building a civilization of love to help inspire others to take action too!