During a week when many ponder the end of the liturgical year and may follow the lectionary reading from Matthew 25: 31-46, “Judgement of the Nations,” we pray:
For I was hungry and you gave me food. . .
The world mourns the loss of United States humanitarian and political organizer Rev. Arthur Simon, founder of Bread for the World. He died on November 14, 2023. We give thanks for Bread for the World, founded in 1974 as an ecumenical organization devoted to solving global and US hunger.
I was thirsty and you gave me drink. . .
The World Bank announced this month that as of 2022, 2.2 billion people lacked safely managed drinking water, 3.5 billion lacked access to safely managed sanitation, and 2 billion lacked access to basic hand hygiene facilities. Global investment needs in the water sector exceed $1.37 trillion. We give thanks for UN Relief workers and their efforts to bring safe water into war-torn areas, and pray that they will find greater support for their efforts on behalf of Gazans.
A stranger and you welcomed me. . .
More than 1 million people have fled Sudan and more than 6 million have been internally displaced within the country. We give thanks for those who have provided refuge for their Sudanese neighbors in Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.
Naked and you clothed me. . .
We give thanks for the many US and international communities where fall donation drives collect items needed for winter, including the Salvation Army’s “Coat for Kids” program. The Salvation Army, headquartered in London, England, operates in more than 130 countries. In the author’s community of 270,000 county residents, 3,000 needy children will receive a winter coat.
Ill and you cared for me. . .
Doctors Without Borders reported this week that medical personnel are treating patients for severe burns at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, following an Israeli airstrike about one kilometer (0.6 miles) away from the hospital. One hundred twenty-two people arrived at the hospital, 70 were pronounced dead on arrival, and dozens of injured patients, including children, were treated for severe burns. We give thanks for health care professionals willing to work and care for patients under these brutal conditions.
In prison and you visited me. . .
Amnesty International is protesting this month’s news that Aleksandra Skochilenko has been convicted of “disseminating knowingly false information about the Russian Armed Forces” and sentenced to seven years in prison for replacing price tags with anti-war messages in a Saint Petersburg, Russia supermarket. We give thanks for those who advocate for the rights of anyone who is unjustly imprisoned.
And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 24:40 New Revised Standard Version, Updated Edition)