Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time/ August 02, 2020
Gospel: Matthew 18:13-21
Friends, in today’s Gospel after Jesus heard the death of His cousin John the Baptist, He withdraw to a deserted place by Himself. When He disembarked a vast crowd followed Him. He then had pity on them and cured their illnesses. Then, because they were in a deserted place, and no food available, He feed them by breaking the five loaves and two fish, which He gave to His disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied.
It must be hard for Jesus to work and proclaim the Kingdom after hearing the bad news about His cousin John. John was beheaded by Herod as requested by Herodias. Jesus for sure felt sad for John. He even withdraw Himself to a deserted place to mourn and give respect to His cousin, who was also His forerunner. But the situation does not prevented Him to continue His mission. Rather, it gave Him a hint that His time is near, which is why He moved on in His journey. After disembarking from the boat He saw the vast crowd and felt compassion towards them. So, He cured many of them who were sick. But, what astonished the people even more was His miracle. He fed the Five thousand men, not including on counting the women and children by only five loaves and two fish! And all ate and were satisfied. This event was a proof to many of the people who followed Jesus, that He Himself is sent by God the Father, so that the world may know His love.
This Gospel is a reminder for all of us that God does everything so that we might enjoy His loving embrace and presence. And if you imagine, He gave Himself so that we become like Him as we ate His body and drink His blood in the Eucharist. We become what we eat! We become ‘Alter Christus’ for others. Moreover, the Gospel also reminds us that God would never leave us alone in our journey. Rather, He accompanies us by breaking of His body so that we may be strengthen and may able to fight and carry our crosses everyday.
Abba, thank You for sending us Jesus to be always with us. He never leave us in our journey rather, He carry us with His hands and strengthen us with His Words. May we who believed and accepted Him, always be faithful in You forever. Through our Lord Jesus Christ YOur SOn, who lives with You in unity of the Holy SPirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.