Hunger is mentioned fairly frequently in the stories told about Jesus’ life in the gospels. He is often discussing hunger and bread with the disciples, and often having compassion on the hungry crowds—and feeding them all, no matter how small the resources on hand were! He speaks to us of feeding the hungry, tending to the needy ones among them (and that when we do, we are tending to his hunger, his need!). He tells the spiritually hungry crowds, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35). But perhaps most striking are the times we see Jesus himself hungry. In the desert after his baptism, for instance, we do not see a self-sufficient Jesus but one who acknowledged his hunger with God (and stayed with it, rather than quelling it with something that wouldn’t ultimately nourish). What is it like to think of Jesus as the needy one? He incarnated every bit of our humanity, and this—hunger—was something he experienced regularly. And not just physically—he regularly, intentionally sought nourishment in solitude and talking to God. It’s part of being human, this hunger, this need. We hear Jesus’ words “whoever comes to me shall not hunger” and think maybe there is something wrong with us or our faith, because we *do* in fact hunger. There are times we feel like we’re starving for the life and love we long for. What if there isn’t anything “wrong”? What if it’s a sign that we’re alive and human in this world? What if our deep hunger is simply an invitation to keep seeking that nourishment, from the One who “satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things” (Psalm 107:9)? And what if caring for your hunger in this way (instead of ignoring it) is caring "for the least of these", too?
Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2022-10-19 14:13:34 UTC