19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 9/8/2015 - Gospel: Jn 6:41-52
Most people who live in third world countries know all too well how hard it is to go to bed with an empty stomach or to fell hungry in the middle of the night and there was nothing in the house for them to eat. To fill an empty stomach that person would swallow some salt and then drink a glass of cold water before the bed time. This false fed would help to control the aching stomach, their tiredness and helps with sound sleep and they would forget all about the pain. My friend told me that when the Vietnam war ended he was put into what the new regime advertised as 'The Education School' but in reality it was harsh laboured and dehumanization camp to crush their spirit. He constantly felt hungry and he dreamt about food day and night. Just the aroma of the food cooking from the warden's kitchen that was carried by the wind would make the prisoner fellows' saliva drip uncontrollable.  Lack of nutrition makes a person feel hungry all the time, apart from food to fill the empty stomach, nothing would help, not even prayers would help to control the agony of an empty stomach.

In the underdeveloped countries apart from the ruling minority who enjoy the wealthy lifestyle, the rest of the population who labour in the harsh and unsafe conditions would earn not enough food for the families. They rarely have a decent meal and certainly they would only dream of a meal people in the developed countries have daily. Rich nutritious food is a rarity such as a three hundred gram of steak would be shared amongst several people and a free rang chicken would feed the whole family for a day.

The only time the poor enjoy justice is when they are at the table of the Lord. They feel that they are treated equally as everyone else. In the Church there is no discrimination of social differences or caste background or colour stigma. There is no boundary or prejudice or at least it doesn't show when they worship together. Whether you are rich or poor there is no different treatment before the Lord. We are all the same before the Lord. Especially when we say the sign of peace everyone reaches out to others with respect and openness. At the table fellowship the poor feel dignified and the sanctity of life is respected.  At the table fellowship the poor feel it makes their life is worthwhile and holy. The table fellowship makes them feel that their burden is light because the Lord is with them and strengthens them with the food from heaven and their hope for a better future is high and assured. They may live in poverty but they are certainly rich and well fed spiritually. Like my friend in the labour camp he believed that his Christian fellow inmates would never abandon him. His hope in the Lord had never died and his spirit was strong and he survived the ordeal.