Saturday, July 25, 2009
17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – B
2 KINGS 4:42-44
A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing to Elisha, the man of God,
twenty barley loaves made from the firstfruits, and fresh grain in the
ear. Elisha said, "Give it to the people to eat." But his servant
objected, "How can I set this before a hundred people?" Elisha
insisted, "Give it to the people to eat." "For thus says the LORD,
`They shall eat and there shall be some left over.'" And when they had
eaten, there was some left over, as the LORD had said.
Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in
a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and
gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of
peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one
hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and
Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went
up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The
Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw
that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, "Where can we
buy enough food for them to eat?" He said this to test him, because he
himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, "Two
hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them
to have a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon
Peter, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves
and two fish; but what good are these for so many?" Jesus said, "Have
the people recline." Now there was a great deal of grass in that
place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus
took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were
reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had
had their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the fragments left
over, so that nothing will be wasted." So they collected them, and
filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley
loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the
sign he had done, they said, "This is truly the Prophet, the one who
is to come into the world." Since Jesus knew that they were going to
come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the
This theme of food and feeding is central to our readings today. In
the first reading, we heard Elisha instructing his servant to feed the
people despite the latter's vehement objections. And when everyone was
done eating, there were leftovers. Similarly, in the Gospel reading,
we hear the familiar story of the feeding of the multitude with some
minor modifications as it is based from John's version. Jesus, who was
confident in what he was to do, nonetheless asked his disciples to
find out their response. It was natural for the disciples to panic and
be anxious for it meant tapping a lot of resources to be able to feed
the people. The people were eventually fed to their satisfaction and
there were a lot of leftovers.
The message is clear — our responsibility is to feed whoever is
hungry. Though the story presented a physiological need, it obviously
does not want to limit itself to such response.
The question then is: What are the hungers of people now? How do we
respond to such needs? How do we feed people?
Walter J. Burghardt, a famous American Jesuit homilist, wrote a book
in 1976 entitled "Seven Hungers of the Human Family." These were:
1. Hunger for Food
2. Hunger for Freedom and Justice
3. Hunger for Peace
4. Hunger for Truth
5. Hunger for Understanding
6. Hunger for God
7. Hunger for Jesus
It would be too long for a reflection to tackle all such hungers.
Rather, there are insights on some of these and add another hunger,
which is probably likewise true for all of us. This is the hunger for
It is very clear that the seven hungers of Fr. Burghardt are true and
relevant in this new millennium. The hunger for food is readily
obvious. By walking the streets, one can see many people begging so
that they may somehow eat.
There is likewise hunger for peace. There seems to be no place where
there is anxiety about war.
Regarding the hunger for love, this is something that is considered a
need for all of us. We know of the many tragedies brought about by
someone whose love is not reciprocated. All of us desire to love and
be loved. And so, we minimize our regrets in life by imbibing certain
beliefs and truths. One is to tell the people whom we love that we
love them. We do not have to wait for the time that they are dead. We
say this because we observe so often that people express their love
for people when they could not hear it anymore. Of course, this is the
influence of a culture where people are not encouraged to express
themselves emotionally. But, when we think about it, one feels good
when one is able to receive a message of love if it is truly
Finally, there is hunger for Jesus. And what better way to encounter
Jesus in the Eucharist where we are given the opportunity to listen to
the Word of God and partake of the body and blood of Jesus.
What do we hunger for? How do we bring satisfaction to such hungers?
We beg in this Eucharist for the grace to recognize our hungers and
that we may work toward satisfying such hungers that will make us
pleasing to Jesus.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the special intentions: Veronica Yap
… for the strength and healing of:
- Francis Torres
- Lynne Frohmiller
- Ester Marcelo
- Richy Ozoa
- Timmy Mamonluk
- Arnold Cabatingan
- Cory Aquino
... for the eternal repose of the soul of Mrs. Maria D. Plata
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Freddy Sy
- Birthday: Nita Hing
… for the healing and peace of all families
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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