Father Philip Writes...
As we watch the harvest being gathered in we should be thankful that we do not go to bed hungry. Our problem in the developed world is that most of us have too much food. It is estimated that the butter alone, if put into supermarket-sized packets, would reach half way to the moon. I regret that stockpiling food is accepted as normal. Martin Luther King had a simple answer: “We can store our surplus food free of charge in the shrivelled stomachs of the millions of God’s children who go to bed hungry at night.”
“One of the disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish; but what is that between so many?” We know what happened next.
We support Christian Aid; we support those in need at home locally through the Stowmarket FoodBank. At Harvest we support St Martin’s Housing Trust, Norwich, helping homeless people. Do we give – or do we walk away because we feel it encourages people to be lazy and ‘dependent’?
The woman replied simply: “But they haven’t eaten for days either.”
“That,” said Mother Teesa, “takes greatness.” The woman’s greatness consisted in being able to look beyond her own and her family’s need.
A priest had just said Mass when a woman came into the vestry to say her shopping bag had been taken from the church. The priest expected her to say: “What kind of person would steal from another in God’s house?” However, without a trace of anger or bitterness, she said, “Maybe the person who took it neds it more than I do.”
It is easy to preach generosity, but this woman practised it. Hers was generosity from the heart.
You rarely meet a generous person who is sad – and you rarely meet a happy miser. Someone wrote:
“I cannot gauge my wealth by an inventory of what is in the bank. The only valid gauge is an inventory of what I have in my heart.”
I hope we shall have a generous response to our harvest appeals next month.
3rd October: 9.30 Parish Mass & Blessing of good clothes, socks, blankets & toiletries for the homeless
10th October: Blesssing of vegetables, tins & packets of food for the homeless in Norwich.
I hope we shall have a school harvest service on 8th October to support the homeless. All year there are 2 red boxes inside church for the Stowmarket FoodBank which are emptied regularly. Our prayer this month should be:
“Lord, may I have a generous heart."