A HOMILY FOR THE EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME –CYCLE “A” – 8/2/20 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonun! Peace and goodness to you!
When we get hungry, many times we know exactly what we are hungry for. Our taste buds cry out for a specific kind of food. Maybe it’s a hamburger, or a Caesar Salad, or macaroni and cheese. And thank God, usually, in this country, we know how, and we have the ability, to take care of our hungers. We go to the grocery store, we go to a restaurant, or certainly today we can add to this list, we order food online, and Grubhub or somebody brings us food ready to eat. All we have to do is pay for it. And our hunger is taken care of. That’s how we handle being hungry today. I guess that this is probably a good thing to understand today as we hear these readings. We’ve got feeding our belly’s down to a science, literally.
Today in St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus has got a whole lot of hungry people. Thousands of them! And St. Matthew is very clear when he writes, that Jesus looked at the crowds, and His heart was moved with pity. And so He cured their sick, He taught them, and when it got late, He decides that He is going to feed this crowd, that later will be called a “multitude”. And Jesus doesn’t call Papa John’s, or Subway, He prays over and blesses the few fishes and loaves that they have, and He has His disciples pass them out to everybody. And everybody eats. And everybody is full. And there are leftovers. And this whole experience gives us this amazing glimpse into what kind of God we have.
It is exactly the same kind of God that Isaiah is talking to us about in our first reading. Isaiah comforts his people, and all these years later, he is comforting us too, with a reminder that we have a God Who wants everyone to come to Him. 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! It sounds pretty good. God’s love takes care of His people! Our second reading, from Romans, is telling us the same thing, “What will separate us from the love of Christ? Anguish, distress, peril, or the sword? None of these things. We will win overwhelmingly, if we stick with Him Who loves us.
So all three of our readings, amazing readings, are talking to us about way more than just food! Our readings today beg the question, WHAT ARE WE REALLY HUNGRY FOR? WHAT IS IT, THAT WE ARE REALLY THIRSTY FOR? And it’s not Pizza Hut and Starbucks! What are our deeper needs? Indeed, we are being offered “food for the soul”. Receive the living Christ, who’s love and care and generosity towards each one of us, is greater than death, stronger than any threat that we can imagine, and stronger than any other power or creature.
It was much, much, more that Jesus was offering to those people on that hillside two thousand years ago, and it is so much more than just bread and wine that Jesus is offering to us as we come here today. He gives us Himself, His love, and His way of life. He is offering us the renewal and transformation that we need, to be His holy people living and working in this world, as we prepare for a Kingdom that lasts forever!
And we can’t buy this kind of love or this way of life down at the grocery store. We can’t earn it either. It only comes from God. And it is the only thing that is really going to satisfy us and our real hunger. We’ve got to turn to Jesus and rely on Him. Let us listen to Him. And heed His voice!
We’re not really hungry for Chick-Fil-A, or Tacos Supreme, or Chocolate cake, although I must admit, those things do sound kind of good right now, but what we all really hunger for, deep down in our hearts and souls, is Peace, and Mercy, and Forgiveness, and Love. And our Lord has those things in abundance, just waiting for all of us! All of us!
We’re getting ready to receive the Bread of Life for that same God Who wants to give us so much more. Let us trust Him. Let us accept what He is offering us in this amazing covenant. And let us commit ourselves to being His Holy People!
+ May God bless all of us! Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!