Pastor’s Homily — 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Gospel story today, about the marvelous work of Jesus in feeding thousands of people, is the kind of story that places Jesus beyond us. He is truly a worker of miracles.
But also in this story, Jesus shows that his day-to-day righteousness is based on fundamentals that we can imitate: love of God, neighbor and creation. Jesus gives thanks to God, he is aware of the hunger of the crowd, and he does not let food go to waste. He gathered up the fragments of food.
The issue of food waste has become a very important global problem.
Some of the statistics relating to the waste of food are incredible. For example, the land that is used for food that is thrown away around the world would cover the United States and Mexico and all of Central America. The food that is wasted each year also wastes the carbon emissions that were part of the production of the food, and that is close to 7% of global emissions.  Thirty percent of all the garbage in the world is food.
To change the situation seems like a miracle. But it is a problem we actually can all do something about. We can plan our shopping for food better. We should only buy food that we know we will eat. Having less meat is a good idea, too.
Pope Francis has said, “If we wish to build a future where no one is left behind, we must create a present that radically rejects the squandering of food.” Today’s Gospel is good time to begin to create that future.

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