Giving ourselves to God so He can do good through us
Reflections on the readings for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 2, 2020): IS 55:1-3; PS 145:8-9,15-16,17-18; ROM 8:35,37-39; MT 14:13-21
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
The Gospel according to St. Matthew for this Sunday starts with Jesus learning about the death of St. John the Baptist.
Jesus’ miracle of the loaves and fish is told in each of the Gospels. It was surely a powerful reminder to the Jewish people of all the wonders Almighty God had performed on behalf of His people throughout their history. We see that in today’s reading from Isaiah which reassured the Jews living through their captivity in Babylon that God had not forgotten them and wanted them to heed Him and to find the blessings of life in Him. The Gospel according to St. Matthew for this Sunday starts with Jesus learning about the death of St. John the Baptist. The prophet chosen by God to prepare the way for Him has been killed. Christ naturally wants some time for Himself at this moment of grief. But the crowds follow Him and He is filled with pity and gives up His own plan in order to heal the sick and be with these people who yearn for His presence. After some time, the disciples urge Jesus to send the huge crowd away so they can find something to eat at the nearest villages. Instead, He tells them that they should provide food for everyone. They must have been surprised that He would ask such a thing from them – after all, they only have five loaves and two fish. What Christ says seems impossible – and it is, until they first put the food in His hands.
“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” (Matthew 14:19-20). Only when the disciples entrust their needs and their resources to Jesus can they do what He wants and feed His people. And His generosity reveals itself in the food that is left over. For those disciples and for us, we can never really serve God’s people without putting ourselves, as well as our desire to help others, into His hands. He will do all that needs to be done if only we willingly allow Him to work through us.
Suggested missionary action: We need to remember that Christ cares about us body and soul and that we must entrust our whole being to Him each day. Then we will know the peace that comes from giving our lives to Him here on earth so we can share eternity with Him in heaven.