A reading from the Second Book of Kings
Hunger and poverty were rampant in the ancient world. Very few people were well fed, and in times of drought many starved. This is the society that we hear about in today’s reading from the second Book of Kings. Elisha was a great prophet, the successor to another great prophet, Elijah. One of the signs of a great prophet sent from God was the power to feed hungry people. Elisha had that power and so did Jesus; however, it was not that they would feed all the people all the time. That was the responsibility for the whole society, starting with the leaders. It still is today.
“The hand of the Lord feeds us, he answers all our needs.” We do not think of God as the one who feeds us. We buy our own food, and in emergencies others help us. But there is a fine line for most of us in continuing our self-reliance. More than half of all workers in America make less than $30,000 a year, and an unexpected illness or job loss brought on by an event such as the COVID pandemic can drop formerly self-reliant people—even those making much more than $30,000—into hunger and poverty. When we buy our food and eat it we need to remember that God gives us the strength to feed our families and also to help feed those in need.