Justice Awareness Mass, Hunger Reflection

At St. Mary’s Dominican High School’s Justice Awareness Mass, senior Amy Sequeira delivered her reflection about hunger. Following mass, the school launched its annual food drive to collect 20,000 cans of food for Second Harvest Food Bank. For 15 years, Dominican has held the annual food drive, the largest school food drive in the Greater New Orleans area.

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HUNGER: A Reflection

By Amy Sequeira

Class of 2015, St. Mary’s Dominican High School

We all experience hunger. And whether it is physical or spiritual, it affects us all the same. This week marks the beginning of our annual canned food drive. This week could also mark the beginning of our quest to satisfy that hunger. That physical hunger that people all over our neighborhoods experience, the one that affects hundreds of families every single day. And that spiritual hunger that exists in each and every one of us. The canned food drive allows us to help satisfy someone’s physical hunger, while also allowing those who donate to be spiritually satisfied.

We heard in the readings today that whoever comes to Jesus will never hunger and never thirst. Well, maybe donating those cans this week is our way to come to Jesus, through the spirit of giving. Just knowing that my donation will have an impact on one or two families means more than I can say. And with that, my spiritual hunger was eased. Giving for the sake of giving itself is a way we can grow closer to God and work towards satisfying that spiritual hunger.

We look at the canned food drive as a competition between religion classes, but it’s more than that. It’s more than just who can beat who. It’s something much bigger than that. It’s St. Mary’s Dominican High School changing people’s lives. It’s 8th grade, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, faculty, and staff making a difference in the life of family who might not get a meal one day if it wasn’t for this effort.

That alone can help to satisfy my spiritual hunger and I’m sure I can speak for many others in this gym. Spiritual hunger reveals itself in many situations. It is in the girl struggling with something no one understands, or the little boy smiling for his friends even though at home he can only frown. It can be seen through the eyes of a child who has never experienced God’s love, or even through someone who doubts their faith.

The spiritual hunger that is hidden behind happy faces and excuses can go without notice so many times. But giving back is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do and Jesus giving himself for us is the ultimate story of giving back. Something I had never made a connection to before I began writing this reflection was Jesus’ words from the cross, “I thirst.” Maybe he was physically thirsty. But maybe he was talking about Heaven. He thirsted for the love of God.

All of us thirst in different ways. We may be thinking when lunch because my stomach is growling, but what we might over look in the hustle and bustle of everyday life are that we are spiritually hungry and thirsty people by nature. We look for that stability in our lives. We need to know someone is up there looking out for us, waiting for us to make the choice. Make the choice to satisfy our hunger, and we can all start with this year’s canned food drive.

Click here for a photo gallery of the mass!

Click here for the story regarding the launch of the annual food drive!