Sunday Message is focused on giving a practical application to the Sunday Gospel.
Each week, an original exposition of the Gospel is provided, along with a short reflection encouraging the reader to relate it to their life; learning points, suggestions for action and original prayer material are also included.
The full text of the readings at Mass are provided, along with the antiphons, the Gloria, Creed, Gospel Acclamation and Psalm.
18th Sunday of Ordinary Time
2nd August 2020
A LAVISH GENEROSITY
In today’s Gospel, Jesus sees that the people are hungry and he
responds to their need.
He says a prayer of blessing and then gives the disciples food to share among the crowd.
To their amazement, not only is there enough food for everyone but the leftovers fill 12
baskets. He doesn’t let the people go hungry. He doesn’t just give them food; he gives
them more than enough to eat. There is a super abundance of food.
It is a foretaste of the eternal banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven, and a statement of how
we too must live.
Today’s Gospel speaks of love and generosity. It echoes the kind of lavish love
that St Paul writes about in the second reading. Both challenge us in two ways.
First, as individuals. They remind us that to be a Christian means to be
generous. We must share – not just our money, but also our time, our love, our very
selves with all who are in need. There is no such thing as the private Christian.
Second, they challenge us as a community, a society. As Christians, it is not enough
that we are charitable. We are also obliged to build a more just world. We cannot be
indifferent to the poor, those who do not have enough to eat. Catholic social teaching
is one of the Church’s greatest secrets. Most people know where the Church stands
on sexual morality. And many think that sex (and money) are all the Church talks
about. But the Church has a whole body of wonderful teaching built up over time
that speaks about care for the poor, teaching that speaks of solidarity and places the
Church and its members firmly on the side of the voiceless and the oppressed. It
was because of his fearless defence of the poor of El Salvador that Archbishop Oscar
Romero was martyred while celebrating Mass. It was because of her support for the
indigenous people of the Amazon that Sr Dorothy Stang was shot dead in 2005. Their
fidelity to the Gospel placed them on the side of the poor, even to the extent of losing
their lives. The great Brazilian Archbishop Hélder Câmara summed up the distinction
between charity and justice in a famous phrase: “When I give food to the poor, they
call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”
To be a follower of Jesus is to work for justice. In fact, the Church teaches that action
for justice is a constitutive part of living the Gospel. It is not enough for us to tell the
poor, the abused, the unjustly treated, that we will pray for them or give money to
charity to support them. We must also do whatever we can to address inequality and
injustice. There is plenty of food to go around if we are prepared to share
“Lord, help me to be the
kind of person you want
me to be. Amen.”
In today’s second reading St Paul makes a
wonderful profession of faith. He says there
is nothing that can separate him from God’s
love made visible in Christ: not persecution,
hunger, nakedness, danger or even death.
No matter what he does or doesn’t do, God
loves him. He is absolutely certain of God’s
love. Can you say the same thing? Make his
profession of faith your profession of faith.
Everything about the Eucharist speaks of
solidarity and community. We share the one
meal, we call each other sisters and brothers.
We offer each other the sign of peace, the
sign of unity and togetherness. Pray for a
deeper appreciation of the Eucharist.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
The Christian has a passion for justice.
The Christian is always aware of the needs