Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 2, 2020

Reflection

The goodness and kindness of God looks grand and great when we think of Him as a God despite being all-powerful has the time to be concerned about our needs. Our Sunday readings however invite us to look at God, not the all-powerful, but one who is intimate and personal. Our four readings unite in one theme: that God is a parent, both our Father and Mother.

Only a parent can feel the needs of their children. Strangers may find it difficult to understand our needs and experiences. It is our fathers and our mothers who, by instinct and by blood, can immediately share our pains and sufferings. The intimate and familial connection of parent and child enables a father and mother to brave all difficulties to provide for their children.

How then does God feel our needs? Although we are not born from God by blood, we were born from him in love. As Christian mystics would describe it, God loved us into existence. Out of this unconditional love, God seeks to provide for his people, for his children. From the depths of his kindness and mercy, God answers all our needs, but above all gives us the greatest satisfaction.

The great love of God for us that St. Paul beautifully sings of in his letter has one desire. Nothing in this world can stop God’s love from offering us life. “Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life,” Isaiah would proclaim. It is from this concern that Jesus, looking at the crowd, decided to feed them himself. 


St. Matthew gives a preview of the Eucharist when he writes that Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, said the blessing, broke them, and gave them to the disciples and the crowd. Four gestures that we call the Eucharistic actions we celebrate in every Holy Mass. We, like the crowd, could only be satisfied when Jesus gives us himself. If God is self-giving, it is because he is Father and we are his children.

First Reading

Isaiah 55:1-3

Thus says the LORD:

All you who are thirsty,

come to the water!

You who have no money,

come, receive grain and eat;

Come, without paying and without cost,

drink wine and milk!

Why spend your money for what is not bread;

your wages for what fails to satisfy?

Heed me, and you shall eat well,

you shall delight in rich fare.

Come to me heedfully,

listen, that you may have life.

I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,

the benefits assured to David.


Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18

R. (cf. 16) The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

The LORD is gracious and merciful,    

    slow to anger and of great kindness.

The LORD is good to all

    and compassionate toward all his works.

R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

The eyes of all look hopefully to you,

    and you give them their food in due season;

you open your hand

    and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

The LORD is just in all his ways

    and holy in all his works.

The LORD is near to all who call upon him,

    to all who call upon him in truth.

R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

Second Reading

Romans 8:35, 37-39

Brothers and sisters:

What will separate us from the love of Christ?

Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,

or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?

No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly

through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,

nor angels, nor principalities,

nor present things, nor future things,

nor powers, nor height, nor depth,

nor any other creature will be able to separate us

from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 14:13-21.


When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,

he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.

The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,

his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.  

When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,

“This is a deserted place and it is already late;

dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages

and buy food for themselves.”

Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;

give them some food yourselves.”

But they said to him,

“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”

Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”

and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.

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,

who in turn gave them to the crowds.

They all ate and were satisfied,

and they picked up the fragments left over—

twelve wicker baskets full.

Those who ate were about five thousand men,

not counting women and children.



***



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