August 2, 2020, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Scripture Readings: Isaiah 55.1-3; Romans 8.35,37-39; Matthew 14.13-21
“Taking five loaves and the two fish, Jesus looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples. The disciples gave them to the crowds. All ate and were filled. They took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.” – Matthew 14.19-21
The crowds that follow Jesus worry his disciples as Sunday’s gospel begins. What will all these people eat? They urge Jesus to send the people away to buy food. Jesus insists the crowds need not go away and tells the disciples, “You give them something to eat.”
This is the challenge Jesus’ disciples face after his death and resurrection and we face in our time. We are to continue the mission of the compassionate messiah who will not abandon the crowd but will provide for them from what he has. Jesus makes a lot of the very little food the crowd has.
The gospel wants us to recognize the bread that proves abundant in the feeding miracle is the bread of the eucharist, blessed, broken, and given for all. Jesus makes bread a sign of his body, of his total self-giving to the people of all time. We eat this bread to nourish our commitment to live as Jesus lived — to give and provide for others, out of our love and gifts.
For whom do you feel compassion? How can you feed their hungers?