Fr. Joseph's homily-18th Sunday in ordinary time
XVIII Sunday, Reflections on the Readings from the Holy Bible
Three particularly important ideas or messages are conveyed by the readings of the day.
(a). Be always thankful to God for all His Divine blessings and Providence in our life.
Once a regular daily church goer was asked by a man of modern thinking, “What did you gain from going to church daily and doing prayers regularly?” The man answered, “Nothing “, but I lost many things. I lost a lot of feelings of depression, loneliness, anger, hatred, vengeance, jealousy and so on. Of course, I was not a loser but a gainer always “.
(b). The best and the most creative expression of our gratitude to God is our sensitivity and responsiveness to the needs of the less fortunate ones. We must share the Lord given blessings of our lives with the needy ones.
(c). When we open our heart to the Lord, the divine Heart will be opened to us totally and we will be blessed with the abundance of graces divine gifts.
Readings of the day:
1. Isiah: 55/1-3
The prophet announces the Israelites in Babylon captivity that they will be delivered by the Yahweh from their slavery and they will be able to return to their homeland with full nourishment of honey and milk. Further through the prophet Yahweh announces them that their sins will be forgiven, and they are promised of participating in His eschatological banquet.
St. Paul who once an enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ and the one who persecuted the church now after experiencing the supreme love of Jesus makes the great proclamation: “Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ “
Gospel Reflections: Matt:14/13.
The passage gives the story of the multiplication of the five loaves and feeding a multitude of people. It is the only miracle except for the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, that is recorded in all the four Gospels.
This incident speaks of the compassion of our Lord Jesus as well as his divinity.
Further it is considered as a fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy.
Most of the people of America can never think the seriousness of starvation and hunger. It is because we live in a land of plenty. Mahatma Gandhi, the great non-violent freedom fighter of India once stated showing the importance of food in human life. “God appears to a starving man in the form of food “.
“No problem is too big for Him to solve and no person is too little for Him to love”
There were more than 5000 people in the isolated area of the wilderness following the Lord and listening to his Gospel. They were hungry and thirsty for the word of God. At the same time, they were all totally weak, tired and hungry and extremely far away from villages or towns. It is in this context the disciples asked the Lord that they be sent home.
The disciples were not dumb or thoughtless. But their solution to the problem was sending the crowd away lest they fall on the way and die. The episode explains the supreme compassion of the Lord. But Jesus’s approach was different. He asked them that they should do something to feed them.
It is easy to blame the Government or the city or the same people or even God Himself for the problem. But Jesus wants each and every one of us to play our role in solving the problem. According to the U.N study at present in the world there is the production of more than enough food to feed the entire population of the world. But still so many millions are starving, and thousands are dying each day due to lack of food and nutrition. As saint Mother Theresa said: “there is more than enough to feed all but never enough to satisfy the greed”.
God blesses them who share their talents with others. Mother Theresa left the Loretta Convent to start a new religious community to help the poorest of the poor and what she had at that time was only just 5 Indian Rupees equivalent to only one US dollar. But 49 years later when she died her original 5 Rupees or one Dollar multiplied in to 80 schools , 380 Mobile dispensaries, 70 leprosy clinics, 30 homes for the dying, 80 homes for the abandoned children, 40000 plus volunteers from all over the world and so many holy nuns and priests and religious brothers to extend the supreme mercy and love of Jesus. You are all aware of the miracles happened through the hands of Mother Angelica and her EWTN cable apostolate.
Everyone is blessed with a lot of talents to share with the people in the world. Also, everyone has a responsibility to play his or her role in solving the problems of the world.
When we open our heart to the Lord, the divine Heart will be opened to us totally and there will be an overflow of divine blessings and graces.