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Being Jesus' Messsanger

Homily 08 03 2014
18th Sunday OT - A

Homily 08 03 2014
18th Sunday OT - A

View the Readings for this day

Today's gospel -the marvelous sharing of "the five loaves and the two fish" is retold six times in the four gospels. This makes it difficult to reconstruct the actual event. It also is testimony that this gospel was of significant importance within the early Christian communities.


It was a lonely place. Time has slipped by. People are hungry. His companions still function out of their rigid certitude about how the world works and tell Jesus "it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food." Their advice is to abandon the hungry to economic laws controlled by the landowners. They tell Jesus, "send them to buy some food" without consideration of their ability to do so.

Jesus replies. "You give them something to eat!" He is emphatic. "YOU give them something to eat." Still operating out of their rigid certitude about how the world works, they respond, "we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!" I remember seeing pictures of a set of tableware bearing the replica of a 3rd century Byzantine mosaic featuring "two fish" and "four loaves." The artist understood the significance of this event and is saying - "you be the fifth loaf."

There on that hillside in Galilee, Jesus calls us to set aside our rigid certitude about how the world works. For us that world is "capitalism." "Capitalism" sends those who are hungry "to the villages to buy themselves some food" - in other words to take care of themselves. Jesus operates out of a non-capitalistic mind sent. On that hillside he is announcing it is God's intent to bring forth "a new reality" among us - a more humane society that shares its bread with the hungry.

"In (the Lord's) hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of every human being." Our Catholic tradition has impressed upon us that life, all life is precious and Earth belongs to everyone. Our Catholic tradition insists there is enough bread for everyone if we can learn to share it. As his experience of God led Jesus to be compassionate, so our experience of God has led all of us in this room to be compassionate and work to alleviate hunger.

So enough said about that. The act of sitting down at a table to eat together is wonderfully human. Don't allow your family and/or companions to forget that eating is more than an individual, biological act.

Sitting at table, eating together, is a privileged moment of gathering. We share our lives, talk to one another, and relax together. We live by receiving from one another and by sharing with others. Our sharing of food is a sign of our radical relationship with Earth and our relationship with all who dwell on this planet. "In (the Lord's) hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of every human being."

We know life is a gift given to us each day. This is why we pause to pray whenever we gather for a meal. We give thanks for life, for the nourishment of food, and for the labor and effort that provides bread for us. We give thanks for the companions with whom we share the food. In doing so find our hearts renewed in our commitment to "be the fifth loaf." Think about it. Every time we gather for a meal, we are extending the mystery we celebrate at our Table of Eucharist.

Do not leave this Mass thinking you have nothing to give others. Do not think you have nothing to give them in order that they might overcome their hunger and thirst. Jesus is here to give you the Bread of Life, not so that you can keep it all to yourselves but so that you can feed countless numbers of those around you who are looking for the same thing you are - a life of meaning and purpose, a life lived in the closeness of God. After all, He is the one who will do the feeding.

All we have to do is share His food - His tender loving mercies, His presence, and His love. If you don't, those in the world around you will continue to starve.

As individuals, as communities and as a world, we suffer all kinds of hunger - for food, for love, for peace. God is able and willing to satisfy all our hungers. But God is waiting for men and women who believe enough to give up their lunch pack, their "five loaves and two fish" which God needs to make the miracle possible.

Eucharistic devotion: a necessary part of Christian life is contact with Jesus Christ in the Eucharistic Presence. We are told that we can experience great joy in the Eucharist, and that there is nothing as gentle and effective on the path to sanctity as the Eucharistic Presence.

The Gospel tells us the role of the disciples in Christ's plan. It was they who gave out the meal to the crowd. He worked through the hands of the disciples and He still operates through us. Are we the messengers Jesus wants us to be?

Will we loan Him our hands, feet, and voice today? He has no other plan.

Mother Teresa lived and served with a generosity and an urgency that continue to challenge the church long after her death. Her example, along with that of so many others similarly devoted to ending hunger, calls forth the best in us. If people die of starvation, she said, it's not because God didn't care for them. It is because you and I were not instruments of love in the hands of God to give them bread, because we did not recognize him when, once more, the hungry Christ came in distressing disguise. What can we do today?

In Matthew's account of the miraculous feeding of 5000 people the apostles shared their lunch while in John's account, a small boy showed this same kind of generosity by sharing his small lunch (which consisted of five small loaves of barley bread and two dried fish) with Jesus to feed a multitude. Thus either the apostles or a small boy became the instrument of a miracle in Jesus' hands.


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Mass Schedule

Saint Aloysius
Tue - Fri - 8:30am
Sat - 5:00pm
Sun - 10:30am

Holy Days
8:30am & 7:00pm

First Friday
8:30am followed by Adoration until 7:55pm

- After weekday Mass
- Before Sat & Sun Mass
- Mon - 3:00pm

Sat - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Or by appointment

Our Lady Of Lourdes
Sun - 8:30am

Before Sunday Mass

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Saint Aloysius
211 West Mason Ave.
Buckley, WA 98321
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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Office Hours
Tue - Fri 9am - 12:00pm

Our Lady Of Lourdes
506 Ash Street
Wilkeson, WA 98396
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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