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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

July 26, 2015

 

Five Loaves Two Fish






 

Reading 1

Is 55:1-3


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.

 

Ps 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18

Responsorial Psalm

 

R. (cf. 16) The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The eyes of all look hopefully to you,
and you give them their food in due season;
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

 

Rom 8:35, 37-39

Reading II

 

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.

 

Mt 14:13-21

Gospel

 

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.

 

 

 

There are sure to be many different sermons, homilies, or reflections pertaining to this gospel reading for today, depending upon the point the message bearer wants to get to his or her audience. Simply because John tends to give much to think about. Previous to this chapter, John talks about at least two other miracles in his gospel, when Jesus had returned to Cana in Galilee where a royal official had begged him to go down and heal his son, and at the Sheep Pool in Jerusalem in a place called Bethesda where the sick man of thirty eight years could not get in the pool. Jesus simply told him to pick up his mat and walk. And that miracle was on the Sabbath, as is this miracle of the multiplication of the loves and fish.



It is a story about that no doubt, but whose bread did Jesus multiply? Whose fish did he divide? Perhaps it is also about what happened to somebody who gave all he had, the real hero of that story, a small boy, though this particular gospel reading does not mention him. Let’s go and find out. Come on. There are all of those people: five thousand men and, most probably, at least double that number of women and children.



It is Jesus who says, “Ok guys, what are we going to do? How are we going to feed them? Of course Philip knows what to do to feed them when he said, “You just buy the food.” But then added, “Let’s see, one piece of bread for each one in this crowd would most probably cost you thousands of dollars. How are you going to manage that. Then Andrew has a bright idea, he asked the crowd, “Has anybody have food?” Silence. No one is speaking up. There must have been quite a few in that crowd who had food, but they kept their mouths shut. No one admitted to having a crumb of bread or a bit of fish. Why would they, they were afraid they would loose it, might have to share it.



And then there is that little boy. He had been looking at Jesus with an open mouth and a wet nose. He patted his pockets, he felt under his shirt, and he shouted: “Yes Sir, over here!” And out he came with five slices of bread and two fish, probably small ones, very small ones, the ones that small boys catch. And the whole crowd laughed. But not Jesus. He took those slices of bread and he took those two fish, and told the people to sit down. There was a great deal of noise and everyone sat down. Only that small boy was still standing there, looking with eyes full of wonder as his fish and bread.



Jesus gave his fish and his bread to those big apostles of his and said, “Divide it among them! They said, “ Divide what?” He said again, “Just start, will you? So they did, they started to break and to break and to break, until everyone had enough, even more than enough. So much so that they still have pieces in their hands when their stomachs were full. After that my friends, Jesus said, “Can you please collect the leftovers?” And what happened, there was twelve basketfuls, and Jesus gave them to that boy; after all, it was his bread, his fish. Those folks praised Jesus. They even wanted to make him a king. As far as I’m concerned, I think that Jesus praise that small boy who had given all that he had. It is that attitude that should be king, and, in Jesus, was.



Those who give will receive folks, and will receive in abundance. So when you are asked for something and you think you are unable to give, think of that little boy, of his story, and think of the twelve baskets full of food given to him because he gave all he had.



You and I all know that there are many who are in need of being given to these days, and that giving is not limited to just food and drink, material things. As followers of our Lord, and the Christians that we claim to be, there are many other ways of giving, and many needs beside food. When I give a kind word to someone who is down and out, a word of encouragement; when I take the time to listen to a hurting heart, the cries of the lonely, the outcasts, those searching for a reason to go on in this life; when I reach out to another human being out of love and compassion, perhaps even denying you precious time, to do these kind of things, I won’t get back 12 baskets full, but Jesus will certainly give me ten times what I give him in his name. And everyone has something to give my friends. It doesn’t cost much to give love, to give from our hearts, to give because our giving is an attitude, like that which that small boy had. And though often times we may be unable to give, we can still carry that attitude and we can still offer up those people in prayer, for prayer is the greatest gift we can give anyone, other than our very own lives.  Thank you and may God bless you this coming week. You are always in my love and prayers.


© Deacon Steve A. Politte
July 26th, 2015

 

 

 

 

Daniel O'Donnell - I Watch The Sunrise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Out Of The Fire

 

Having comfort and wealth, and everything that we need,
Doesn’t give God the chance to plant His loving seeds.


Learning to love and to be grateful for everything,
Comes from heartaches and pain that this life sometimes brings.


Giving God the chance to reach out and help you,
Allowing Him to take over when you don’t know what to do.


All the wealth in this world, and the fame and the glory,
Can never compare to adversities gripping stories.


For out of the fire, and the suffering and tears,
Comes the sweetest stories that everyone wants to hear.


The greatest people ever known, and the lives that are blessed,
Are the ones that have had problems, and been put to the test.


Broken lives, shattered dreams, God loves us just as we are,
For He knows what we will be when we come out of the fire.



 

Written By Eva Dimel
Inspired By God

© July 27th, 2011

 

 

 





 

 

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