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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Death is behind us

We have celebrated our Lord’s resurrection. By God’s grace, we have a new perspective on our lives. “Death,” as Pope Francis has said, “is behind us.”

Our lives on earth do not illuminate what is ahead of us. It is eternity that illuminates our lives on earth.

Jesus’ resurrection has changed everything. In front of us is the God of the living, the beginning of a new time of joy and endless light, where there is no possibility of sin and death.

“At present,” St. Paul says, “we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

In other words, we have a glorious future awaiting us with the risen Christ in heaven.

But can a person who is sick with hunger think about these things? Of course not.

It is only when we are well fed and safe that we can begin to reflect upon the greater truths of life. If a person is constantly at risk of hunger or disease or if sectarian violence is a daily concern, the main focus is to find a safe haven, not to think deeply about our life to come.

Do you believe that we can alleviate the hunger of all children in the world in 10 years? Pope Francis does. But first we need to acknowledge some difficult facts.

The most disturbing is that one child dies every 10 seconds from hunger. Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45 percent) of deaths in children under 5. And nearly a billion people in the world—approximately 870 million–do not have enough to eat.

The World Food Programme (WFP), the food assistance branch of the United Nations, calculates that $3.2 billion in U.S. dollars is needed per year to reach all 66 million hungry school-age children.

A powerful combination of prayer and action is needed to address this injustice to the most vulnerable.

Prayer, of course, is the key. Prayer is the weapon that can change the world. God begins the prayer in us. We need to trust that our prayers are being heard and that our petitions are being answered.

The second step involves action. If we have the means–and most of us do–we can find creative ways to help supply food to children at risk. Perhaps there are children needing assistance in our own neighborhoods.

The final step is education. Empowering the poorest children of the world through optimizing their educational opportunities is the long-range solution. As the old adage says: “Give a person a fish and they eat for a day. Teach them to fish, and they will eat for a lifetime.”

Everyone on the planet should have the opportunity to live a life free from hunger.

We can help make that happen and, in so doing, follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Death will only be behind us when we realize we are all made in the image and likeness of God.

Race, country of origin, or even religion will not change the love that God has for every single person.

Let us continue to look for opportunities to serve and move more deeply into the light of Christ.

Easter blessings,

Father Kevin MacDonald, C.Ss.R.