Although Rogation Days were primarily associated with agriculture and the blessing of fields, many churches extended the blessing to the sea and prayed for a good fishing season. Present observance cannot be limited to agriculture and fishing, one must include prayers for commerce and industry and stewardship of creation. The Rogation Days remind us of our dependence upon God for our daily living. This point is important and needs to be stressed as we live in a materialistic age, which worships the creature and not the Creator.

We can use the Rogation days to focus on the stewardship and preservation of the environment. We are to care for the creation, which is a gift from God to us. The Genesis story of creation tells us that we are stewards of God’s creation. The earth’s resources are to be used for the glory of God and the benefit of all people. To use the earth’s resources for destructive purposes is a sin.

As we pray for fruitful seasons and God’s blessing on our crops, we must also remember the many persons throughout the world who live in poverty and experience hunger on a daily basis.

It is estimated that 963 million people in the world go hungry every day. Figures also suggest 3 million children under five die because they are undernourished.

Is there a solution to the problem of hunger? Yes. We have the means. The financial costs to end hunger are relatively slight. The United Nations Development Program estimates that the basic health and nutrition needs of the world's poorest people could be met for an additional $13 billion a year. Animal lovers in the United States and Europe spend more than that on pet food each year. It is also believed that US$30 to 40 billion of the trillions being given to bail out the banks can solve the problem of hunger.

Hunger does not exist because the world does not produce enough food. We have enough food to feed every body. There is no need for people to go hungry. We have the experience and the technology right now to end the problem. The challenge we face is not production of food and wealth, but a more equitable distribution. The problem of hunger is related to a system that breeds selfishness and greed.  We have enough food to feed the world’s population and to rid the world of hunger. Part of the problem lies in human selfishness and greed. It is also related to the policies of world governments and their protectionist regimes that have negative affects on people, especially, the poorest of the poor.

We are guilty of waste. The evils of selfishness and greed affect us as individuals and we only think of ourselves. St. Paul says we make our bellies our God. We are a people who consume and consume and consume. As we worship the god of consumption we do not stop to think of the many who can benefit if we share what we have. Some people prefer to throw away food rather than share it with the hungry.
Do we need to eat the amount of food we consume on a daily basis? As you sit at your lunch table this afternoon ask yourself if you need the amount of food you will place on your plate. Not only is it bad for you but some of it can be used to relief hunger. As you sit at your lunch table do not only think about the hungry, do something to help the hungry. Do we need to buy all the food items we buy at the supermarket? The next time you go shopping ask yourself what you are doing and if you need to buy what you plan to buy. This age of consumerism forces us to spend what need not be bought and denies us the privilege of responding to human need and suffering.

As Christians who are supposed to witness to God’s love and care for all his people, we cannot be happy living in a nation that has people who go hungry for one reason or another. Christian stewardship says we have a responsibility to our neighbour. Christian stewardship teaches that we are members of God’s family and that what we do to our fellow man we do it to God. But more than that, we cannot be happy with hungry people in our midst because what affects one affects all. How can we as Christians fail to help the hungry? How can we as Christians close our eyes to human suffering and say that people are poor because they want to be poor. This is an elitist approach to life and one that avoids us accepting any kind of responsibility for the state of the world’s poor. It is a position adopted to make us comfortable in the face of human suffering and hunger.

Over and over again the Old Testament makes it abundantly clear that we must make provision for the poor so that they will not go hungry. There is the stipulation that when the fields are harvested some of the crops must be left back for the poor and needy. There are many biblical texts which express concern for the poor and feeding the hungry. One of the best known is found in Matthew’s Gospel: "For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'

The age in which we live contributes to a lack of concern for the poor and hungry. We live in a very competitive age which places a great premium on the individual. This competition breeds selfishness, greed, envy and covetousness; we are only concerned with self and not the interest of the community. This situation causes us to compromise the Golden Rule of Christianity as taught by Jesus: “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12).

We can use the Rogation days to remind all people of the need to share our resources for the good and benefit of all people. Whatever we have is a gift from God to be used for the common good and not for selfish gain.

To feed the hungry is to seek justice and pursue it.

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