“They proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least.” Jonah 3:5
After hearing Jonah preach, the people of Nineveh repented. At all levels of society, even up to the king, they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth. Because of this, God saw they wanted to change their ways and had mercy on them.
What has this got to do with us today?
There is enough food in the world for everyone and yet millions of people, one in nine, still go hungry. And a shocking one in three people do not receive food that is adequate to their needs.
As Pope Francis has said, hunger is caused “to a large extent, by an unequal distribution of the fruits of the earth, in addition to the lack of investment in agriculture, the consequences of climate change and the increase in conflicts in different parts of the planet.”
He continues that, in the light of this, “we cannot remain insensitive or paralysed” because “we are all responsible”.
We may not all wear sackcloth like the people of Nineveh, but we can make profound changes to our lives because of our beliefs. We are called to speak out about the injustice we see in our world today.
While our actions as individuals can help, we need real change at all levels. We pray that those who hold power will be inspired to make a difference and do what is right, so that all people may flourish.