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Friday, 27 July 2012

Reflection/Homily: Seventeenth (17th) Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B (July 29 2012)

Theme: He gave them bread to eat

Today, we shall reflect on the readings in two dimensions. The first is the social dimension which is ecclesiologically Christocentric and the second is the spiritual dimension which is Sacramentally Christocentric. These words seem to be high sounding theological jargons but as we move further, the Holy Spirit will enable us understand them better.

The social dimension of today’s readings is ecclesiologically Christocentric. This means that the social implications of the readings concern us a body (Church) which is centered in Christ. In the first reading (2 Kings 4:42,44), Elisha’s servant wondered about the sufficiency of the twenty barley loaves he was asked to distribute among a crowd containing about a hundred men. At the end of the story, the crowd all ate and there were some left over.

In the gospel reading (John 6:1-15), the disciples wondered about the sufficiency of five loaves of bread and two fish which was to be used to feed a crowd containing about five thousand men. At the end of the story, when Jesus blessed the loaves and fish, the crowds all ate and there were twelve baskets filled with left over.

Beloved friends, God has blessed us as a Church and as a society with so many good things. Sometimes, these good things are in the hands of some people (talents), at other times, some people hijack them to themselves (dividends from natural resources) because of their positions. For this reason, the masses suffer and go hungry because those concerned do not want to release these blessings for the common good. We have to learn to give out what belongs to the public for the common good. More still, we have to learn to sacrifice the little we have for the common good. Do not be afraid it will be insufficient. God has a way of multiplying them for the good of all. Imagine how happy the donors of these loaves would be to have fed the crowd through the grace of God. 

As a Church and as a society, God has given each and every one of us a loaf of bread and some fish to contribute and share with others. Your loaf of bread may be your wealth, talent, time, idea, energy, etc. Why not share it with others. Some prefer to hide theirs while others use theirs for community development. Contribute the little you have and see the miracle that will result from it. In doing that, the common good should be your interest and not the award of chieftaincies or other recognitions. The crowd wanted to crown Jesus king but he refused because it was not his motive for feeding them. Our motives for generous services should be selfless. When everybody contributes the little he has, the society will be fulfilled because little drops of water make an ocean. If you are a powerful preacher, singer, prayer warrior, motivator, organizer, cleaner, teacher, driver, etc, it is your loaf of bread to share with the members of your Church or community.

As a Church and as a society still, St Paul reminds us in the second reading (Eph 4:1-6) to work in harmony with each other. There should be no division among us because of the various gifts we have received but we all should work towards the common good bearing in mind that “there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God who is Father of all, through all and within all”.

The Spiritual dimension of the readings is Sacramentally Christocentric. This means that the spiritual implications of the readings concern the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist which is centered in Christ as the bread of life. The miracles of the multiplication of loaves and the feeding of the crowd are a foretaste of the banquet of the Holy Eucharist. The responsorial psalm reminds us that the hand of the Lord feeds us. He feeds us with the banquet of the Holy Eucharist.

Beloved friends, do you partake of this great meal always or do you have any barrier (sin) hindering you? Are you living in concubinage and so cannot receive communion? Why not cleanse yourself today and begin to partake of this great banquet. This banquet satisfies all our needs because it is Jesus himself.

However, the Eucharistic meal unites us as a family under Christ and St. Paul in the second reading advices us to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds us together. Therefore, may the Eucharist we adore and receive make us ready to share our gifts and blessings with others and may it also promote peace, love, unity and tolerance among us. God loves you. 

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:41 pm

    Good homily. God bless you.


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