BOTW - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 2, 2020
Do you believe that you are loved by God beyond all other things? Do you trust that God will provide for your simplest and greatest of needs? He has, does and will provide everything so that you may have life!
Today’s gospel from Mathew is the familiar story of the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes. It is a very important miracle as it is the only miracle that is recounted in all four gospels. The miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes is both a reference to history and to the future. Historically, it refers back to Moses and the feeding of the thousands of Israelites with manna as they fled Egypt and wandered in the desert. And, it also foretells of the breaking of the bread at The Last Supper. Note the language that Mathew, as well as the other gospel writers, use. ”Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples.” This is very close to the exact words that Jesus uses during the Last Supper. Further, this is very close to the exact words that our priests use at every mass during the Eucharistic Prayer.
While the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes is clearly a reference to past and future events, it is also, very specifically. a reference to the fact that God will provide.
Read the first reading from Isaiah. Come to your loving Father. It does not matter if you are hungry or well fed, thirsty or quenched, poor or wealthy. Come to your loving Father and He will provide the best of food, drink and provisions. He will provide the richest of fare. He promises to do so. He makes a covenant to do so.
Read Psalm 145. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs. Again, God will provide! Our Lord provides in due season and satisfies all our needs.
Read the second reading from Romans. Nothing can separate us from the love and mercy of God! He loves us so much. It does not matter the anguish you are suffering, the distress you are experiencing, the persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or the sword that you are enduring. God is always there. God is always with us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. He provides comfort and peace.
Read the gospel again. Despite His desire to seek some peace, quiet and solitude after learning of the death of his cousin, John the Baptist, Jesus responds to a call to minister to the people. He sees the need and responds. He cures the sick. He feeds the hungry. Despite the personal sorrow that Jesus is experiencing, he cannot overlook the sick and hungry before him. Nothing can distract Jesus, our Lord from caring and tending to each of us. Sure, we may feel like we are forgotten and neglected at times when things are not going exactly as we’d like them to. But our plan may not be God’s plan. Trust that God’s plan is the right plan and that his plan will come to fruition in his time. Trust God!
Jesus has pity on the crowds and miraculously feeds them. In His compassion, the Lord answers all of our needs, thus renewing his covenant of love with us. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
Theme in Our Life
Do you believe?
Do you trust God?
The answer is a simple yes or no. Simple and yet not so easy to answer. Life presents challenges which cause us to ponder, to question, to deliberate, to discern.
What is the challenge in your life today?
The challenges in each of our lives can run the gamut.
Just to name a few possibilities…
I have a health issue that is life threatening.
I’ve lost my job and don’t know where I’m going to find another one.
I’m cash poor and late on my rent.
My child has become addicted to drugs.
My spouse is terribly ill and I fear a future without her or him.
My employer is suffering due to all the Covid-19 issues and I fear losing my job.
My kids are frustrated and anxious about the coming school year and how Covid-19 will impact everything.
I’m sympathetic to citizens’ rights to assemble and protest but destruction of property and needless killings around the country cause great fear and anxiety in me.
My savings have run dry. How will I put food on the table tomorrow?
Grandma or Grandpa is starting to show signs of dementia. How will I cope?
I have an addiction to pornography. Where do I turn for help?
I’m suicidal. Is there hope?
Add to this brief list whatever concern or challenge that you are experiencing today.
As I suggest, the list of challenges are numerous, unending and frankly unimaginable.
And yet nothing is beyond the imagination of God. God knows all things!.
The most repeated advice though out all of scripture is “be not afraid.”
To be not afraid is to trust.
Do you believe?
Do you trust in God?
He will provide!
Preparing for Sunday
Do I trust that our Lord will provide?
Despite all of the fears and doubts that we’re experiencing because of COvid-19, do we believe that God is in charge?
Am I willing to express my faith and trust in God when I am amongst my family and friends?
Let us pray:
Dear heavenly Father, most glorious and gracious God. please help me and my fellow brothers and sisters. We admit that we struggle at times. Our faith and trust in you is challenged and often appears weak. Help strengthen our trust and confidence in you. Help us trust you in all circumstances. Help us trust that you have all the right and true answers to whatever concerns confront us in our daily lives. You are the font of all that is true and honest. Let our faith and trust rest in you. Amen.