On this first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, a focus on the Lord’s view of each of us, precious in His sight
The miracle of the Loaves and fishes helps us have a greater appreciation and recognition of Christ for who He is. And encourages us to invite Him into our own flesh and spirit.
Reflections on the readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 25, 2021): 2 KGS 4:42-44; PS 145:10-11,15-16,17-18; EPH 4:1-6; JN 6:1-15
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.
Let us give thanks for this great blessing by receiving it as frequently as we can.
The Gospel story for this Sunday begins with a huge crowd that has followed Jesus up a mountain. He sees them not just as people curious about the cures He has performed and the message of God’s mercy that He has shared. He sees them as precious individuals with physical needs as well as spiritual ones. And He wants them, as well as His Apostles, to know Him better and to appreciate His compassion for them. So He asks one of the Twelve how they can buy some food for everyone. “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?’” (John 6:7-9) So one Apostle takes Christ too literally and speaks about the high cost of food. And the other mentions the food that is available, but cannot believe that the small amount could possibly do any good for the whole crowd. Our Lord, however, knows how to feed them. He offers a prayer of thanks and sets about sharing what they have. And because He is their Savior and the Son of God, all will be filled, all will be satisfied. Eventually, Christ would invite them – and us – to accept redeeming refreshment of His own flesh and blood in the beautiful gift of the Eucharist. Let us give thanks for this great blessing by receiving it as frequently as we can.
Today, we have another reason to offer our thanks to God. Pope Francis has declared that the fourth Sunday of July will now be the Church’s annual World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. It was chosen because tomorrow, July 26, is the memorial honoring the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus.
Suggested missionary action: We can make a point of honoring our grandparents as well as all the elders who have contributed to our own faith and our personal welfare. More than that, we can ask God to bless them and to show us how to assist them in their own needs and trials.