Chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews lists a number of men and women, young and old, who had faith in God. As we read their stories, certain traits of their walk of faith are noticeable. There is no doubt that the love of God they experienced in their lives moved them to acts of faith that demonstrated their complete dependence on a loving, caring, and righteous God. Faith taught them to wait on God's time for the answer to their prayers or the fulfillment of a promise. God's love gave them a different perspective of people, circumstances, and the world around them, and faith kept them from losing that perspective. Faith allowed them to stand firm and secure in God's provision. Faith moved them to believe that when we are on God's side, we can aim higher and toward what others may consider the impossible.
At Bread for the World, God's love moves us to have faith in pursuing an end to hunger by 2030. As you reflect on these lectionary readings, I encourage you to reflect on your faith journey and let God's love urge you to pray, act, and give to end hunger.
In God's service,
Bishop José García
Director of Church Relations, Bread for the World
The following excerpts from "Hunger for the Word: Lectionary Reflections on Food and Justice - Year B" are offered to Bread for the World with permission from Liturgical Press. All other rights are reserved. Copies of the full lectionary resource may be purchased from our store.
June 14, 2015 Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Christ's love explains everything and motivates all we do: "The love of Christ urges us on." "We walk by faith." "We are always confident" (vv. 6, 7, 14). It's also the lens through which we view everything. Everything looks different — the world, our lives, other people, even Christ! Why? Because we have come to understand that Christ's death and resurrection draw a bright line between the past and the future. Christ's death wipes out the old, and his rising brings a whole new creation that truly offers new life to everyone. Paul invites us to live with him in this new reality too. Read more »
June 21, 2015 Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Throughout its history the tiny nation of Israel had an unshakable belief that God neither forgets nor forsakes the poor, needy, and afflicted ones. Psalm9:9 affirms that God is a "stronghold for the oppressed." A stronghold is a place of security, a sanctuary where one can go to be safe and to survive. But God is not simply a lifeless rock behind which to hide. God is an advocate who takes up the cause of the oppressed. Read more »
June 28, 2015 Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
It is not enough to hope for small things, for changes that seem possible. The hope we place before God comes from an aching sense that the world and we ourselves are far less than we could or should be. We hope for a world without hunger, war, or oppression. "Out of the depths I cry to thee" (Psalm 130:1, RSV). No suffering is too great to separate us from God. "If thou, O Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?" (v. 3, RSV). No one — not anyone — merits God's favor. "But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared" (v. 4, RSV). No sin or evil deed is too heinous for God to forgive. And thus, "My soul waits, and ... I hope" (v. 5). Read more »
As the disciples once asked you, we ask you to increase our faith.
- Increase our faith to be patient and be sensitive to the leading of your Holy Spirit.
- Increase our faith to see the world around us through the lens of your love and not through our cultural and social worldview.
- Increase our faith to find comfort in your promises of safety and provision.
- Increase our faith to be strong and courageous to be an instrument in your hands, through which we can feed, advocate, and end hunger in our country and around the world.
In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Announcement for Your Congregation
Each week, Bread for the World shares prayers for a different part of the world using the World Council of Churches' Ecumenical Prayer Cycle. Visit Bread Blog each Friday morning to join in praying. Commit to regular prayer at bread.org/pray and receive two emails a month with prayer suggestions for ending hunger.
Resources for Your Ministry
Join thousands of churches across the country as they celebrate Bread for the World Sunday on October 18, the Sunday closest to World Food Day. Dr. Brian Bantum (pictured at right), who teaches theology at Seattle Pacific University, will provide a Scripture study of Mark 10:35-45, the Gospel appointed for October 18. Judy Coode, communications director for the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, will prepare a new litany or responsive prayer. These resources — along with free worship bulletin inserts — will be available in early July.