Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: Column, Cover Art, Prayers of the Faithful

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Bulletin Column

Dear Believers in the Christ,

In today’s gospel, Matthew 14: 13-21, people walked from their villages to be with Jesus. These people brought their sick to be healed. Word traveled fast even though people were on foot. Hope lit up their imaginations even though it took much work and effort to walk to the place where Jesus was gathering them. Curiosity roused people to set out to discover this miracle worker, Jesus. The Holy Spirit ignited their desire to set out and search for all that could free them.

As people gathered together, Jesus was once again moved with pity. This notion of pity is revealed in several passages in the gospels. Pity is the beginning of compassion. Jesus’ heart was moved by the suffering and complications of people’s lives. His heart overflows with love and tenderness. Pity can be a negative word in our day, when we stand on the sidelines of suffering and do not act to help folks who most need us. The word “pity” can be condescending, when we only pity people at arm’s length.

Jesus becomes the model of offering compassion and tenderness when he engages people who need help. He allows others’ sickness, disease and uncertain circumstances to change him. He not only enters people’s pain, but he also learns from them. This model of love continues for us who ache to help others as we learn that life for many people is not easy or fair. This movement of pity becomes the beginning of justice, the beginning of hope for those who are marginalized and discouraged by life. Jesus lifts up the poor. He welcomes the lost. Jesus embraces the leper and the sick, the outcast and the sinner.

This notion of pity in this gospel reveals itself in a new way. So, the disciples are now concerned about people because they were in a deserted place. People were hungry. People needed the basics of life and the disciples were becoming aware that Jesus was not providing for them. Something needed to happen.

Jesus begins to turn the concerns of the disciples back in their direction. Jesus says to the disciples that they should offer people food. Jesus here is trying to teach them that their pity toward people’s hunger must be turned into action. Their pity must become active compassion. Jesus reveals to the disciples that feeding his followers is going to become an on-going problem. Jesus invites his followers to consider their own miracles, their deepening faith, and loving concern for those who need food.

With five fish and two loaves of bread, new miracles happen. Imagine how the disciples felt at such a meager supply of food for all of those people. They must have felt helpless and embarrassed that Jesus would have even suggested such a way to feed the people. We can all feel this moment. We all understand that moment when we feel we do not have enough, when life itself is not enough, when our own faith and actions seem meager and insufficient.

Then the miracles really let loose. Not only were people fed, but they were satisfied. This statement overwhelms me. In many ways, I can imagine how Jesus fed the crowd, but the fact that they were satisfied is entirely a new miracle. Thousands of people received food to survive their trip home. Baskets full of leftovers must have fed the disciples as they packed up for their next journey. I also imagine that the faith of the disciples was taken to a new level as they witnessed this incredible moment on a hillside in the heat of the day.

The disciples witnessed how pity moved Jesus into action. Jesus wanted his disciple to also learn such a beautiful way to engage their faith. Pity, from the heart of Christ Jesus, is compassion in action. I wonder whom we are called to feed? How shall we engage our faith in compassionate action? How does people’s hunger for justice, love, and concern, change us who believe in such miracles? I am sure when we engage people’s hunger because we believe in Jesus, we too, shall be satisfied.

God give you peace,

Fr. Ron Raab, CSC, Pastor

 

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 2, 2020

For those who are malnourished in faith, that the Eucharist may provide faith in Christ Jesus for the discouraged and joyless.

We pray to the Lord.

For world leaders, that integrity and wisdom may guide those who lead every nation into the future.

We pray to the Lord.

For those who live in sacristy, that the hungry, the uneducated, the hopeless, may experience the abundance of God’s grace and protection.

We pray to the Lord.

For the newly professed members of the Congregation of Holy Cross who spoke their vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience on Saturday, for their future vocations and safety of their return to Notre Dame.

We pray to the Lord.

For all ill members of our parish communities and families, that God may bring healing and satisfaction.

We pray to the Lord.

For our beloved dead and for all who grieve. In this Mass we remember…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

 

1 thought on “Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: Column, Cover Art, Prayers of the Faithful

  1. When I met people and their hearts are full of fear, anger or have no hope I pray that a smile, a kind word or just a hello will bring a little love to their hearts. Help me Jesus to bring Love , Hope and Peace to your people.

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