The following is an excerpt from Monika Hellwig’s The Eucharist and the Hunger of the World. Monika Hellwig (1929-2005) was a professor at Georgetown University for many years and the mother of three adopted children.
Good news is created by what we are and how we relate to others. It is communicated by our total lifestyle and our concerns. It is communicated by the real difference that we make in the situation. The words that may be spoken have very little to do with the communication of the good news. To say, “Cheer up, Jesus loves you,” is very different from listening to someone with interest who has not often before been taken seriously. To say “God will provide” is sheer nonsense when spoken by a well-fed person to those who are hungry and watch their children go hungry without being able to do anything about it.
To preach that the salvation of God has come into the world in the person of Jesus, the one and only thing that is necessary is that a community lives the new life of the Resurrection should touch the lives of the hungry of the world with authentic and generous compassion, drawing on the bread of life that is Jesus, to become themselves bread of life for the needy with their whole heart and their whole mind and their whole substance. Such a community need not even go to the ends of the earth, for in our times the ends of the earth come to us all the time in our newspapers, our mailboxes, our television screens….
To identify with the oppressed concretely in even one respect and follow through with effective action requires all the resources of a generous and selfless community because it leads into involvement with the whole highly resistant network of sin and selfishness. But where there is action of creative love, there the good news is preached that salvation has come into the world, and that there is an alternative to desperate self-assertion and self-defense at the expense of others — that there is possibility of human community.