Saturday, July 30, 2005
18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
JULY 31, 2005
18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - A
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.
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.
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.
An elderly woman lived in one side of a small apartment. She was
extremely poor materially, but rich in the things of the spirit. She
prayed a great deal.
Next door lived the owner of the apartment, a man of no faith, no
prayer, and no religion. He often made fun of the old lady's trust in
One day the woman was praying quite loudly, telling the Lord that she
had no food in the house. The godless man heard her and decided: "I'll
play a joke on her. I'll make a fool of her." He took a loaf of
bread, laid it at her front door, rang the doorbell, and then hurried
back to his apartment, to hear through the wall her cry of delight:
"Thank your Lord, I just knew you wouldn't let me down."
With a devilish grin the man came back to her front door and told her:
"You silly old fool. You think God answered your prayer. Well, it's
not God who gave you the bread. I'm the one who brought that loaf of
Undaunted, the old lady exclaimed: "Praise the Lord! He always helps
me in my needs, even if He has to use the devil to answer my prayers."
In today's Gospel story, the disciples suggested to Jesus to send the
crowds away ... to buy food for themselves. The disciples were
concerned for the people. They were thoughtful enough to remind Jesus
that it was already late. The people must be hungry. But their
concern was up to a point. Give them a chance to buy food - to take
care of themselves. Probably the disciples were feeling good for being
But Jesus surprised them: "You give them something to eat," he said.
The apostles must have thought there was something wrong with their
hearing. Did we hear him say "You give them something to eat?" Eat
what? We don't have enough for ourselves!
The only food around consisted of five loaves and two fish. John's
Gospel says they belonged to a boy. When Jesus learned about the food,
he called the boy. The boy couldn't believe his ears when Jesus said
to him, "Son, will you give me what you have so I can feed these hungry
But the boy trusted Jesus, and gave him the five loaves and two fish.
Then our Lord fed five thousand (more likely, twelve thousand people,
because they didn't count the women and the children) with only five
loaves of bread and two fish - with twelve big baskets of left over.
Today, that crowd is not just 5,000 or 12,000. It has mushroomed to
millions. They are not only hungry; they are starving not only for
bodily food, but also for truth, for peace, for justice, An
international study some years ago shows that 450 million people go to
bed hungry each day. Half of the world's population have no safe water
Read the daily papers, you'll never miss a report on cheating and
dishonesty - be it election or exam leakage, ghost projects, tax
evation, graft and corruption, and countless other anomalies. A study
shows that the average child develops a non-condemning attitude toward
cheating by the time he or she is 10 years old.
Peace today is a rare commodity. Our community has been so de-
sensitized by violence, rapes, holdups, kidnappings, murders and
massacres, that we are not outraged anymore.
And justice? The very credibility of the judicial system has been
shaken by some corrupt judges, whose verdict is for sale.
The government health program encourages promiscuity by promoting
ligtas buntis, condoms and other artificial means of birth control.
Lawmakers are pushing for legalizing divorce, abortion and unnatural
marriages. The laws of God are labeled "obsolete," or "unrealistic."
Men try to be wiser than God, like the people building the Tower of
Sometimes the reality around us can be so overwhelming. It can get us
depressed. As Christians we know we should be concerned. But as human
beings we say, "What can I do? I'm only one person." So we pretend
that the problems don't exist. People are not really hungry. Or we
say, "They're hungry because they are lazy."
Though it is true that in today's Gospel, Jesus worked the miracle out
of compassion for the crowds, his concern went deeper than their need
for physical nourishment.
It is not for nothing that the evangelist here described the actions of
Jesus in terms that allude to the details such as the time of day and
the bread. We are reminded of the institution of the Holy Eucharist at
the Last Supper. The point behind this story is that the feeding of
the 5,000 was a sign that Jesus wanted to feed his followers in a
spiritual manner by means of the Eucharist.
As material bread is but the shadow of the real, spiritual food in the
Eucharist, so our earthly lives are but the shadow of the real,
spiritual life that God has called us to.
The deepest yearnings of the human heart can find their fulfillment
only in God. Only God can readily satisfy our deepest longings. He is
the only bread that can nourish our hearts. And the sooner we realize
it, the happier and more purposeful our lives will become.
However, we should not forget that when the apostles asked Jesus to
dismiss the crowd, he answered, "You give them something to eat." God
does not usually work miracles out of the blue. He wants us to be his
instruments. Without the boy giving his 5 loaves and 2 fish, we might
not have today's Gospel miracle.
The message of the Gospel is this: One person, like one grain of wheat,
can be the instrument of a miracle.
The message of today's Gospel is that one concerned person can be the
instrument for helping thousands.
Today's Gospel tells us that if we offer our talents and gifts to Jesus
for his work, he can perform miracles with them.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- In thanksgiving for Michael's healing
- For the intention of Gallage family
- For well-being of my parents Meliton & Piling Guina
- For enlightenment of my son Paolo Guina
- For current thesis project of my daughter Denise Guina.
- For the personal intention of Erlinda Cortez
- for the speedy recovery of Mary Ann R. Francisco.
- for the speedy recovery of Vince Cary.
- for the speedy recovery and good health of Emiliano Esparaguera Jr.
- healing for: Baldy, Mary in GA, Ann in DE, Tracy from TX, Von from
FL, Elizabeth from NJ, Rich M, Paula and all religious throughout the
- for the special intentions of Alyssa.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday and thanksgiving: Alvarado Alfonso
- Birthday and thanksgiving: Ivy Jean C. Auxilio
- Birthday: Milmar Ignacio B. Onal
- Birthday: Ruby Cheng
- Wedding Anniversary: Edwin & Hope Lim
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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