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Gospel MT 14:13-21
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.
Homily for August 2, 2020
My dear followers of Jesus,
Is there enough for me? Will others also be fed? These questions haunt the disciples amid the starving crowd.
These questions become our questions in our hunger, in our appetite for spiritual food. Does Jesus really care about my loneliness during these COVID-19 months? Does Jesus care that my son has lost his job or that I have not touched my new granddaughter or that my nephew thinks about suicide because of his isolation? Does Jesus care about my need to be safe with all my health problems or that I have not been physically touched in months?
Well, Jesus remedies the hunger of his people by collecting five fish and two loaves of bread. He suckles the many thousands. He shows the disciples how to bless bread, break it, and share it, in order for him to satiate people’s hunger. There were even unexpected leftovers, more than enough to benefit each person’s hunger.
This is a foreshadowing of our actions at the Eucharist here today. There is enough even for your hunger and mine. There is plentiful redemption for your unbelief and loneliness. There is food for change in our frustrations along racial divides and violence on our streets.
The Roman’s text asks, “What will separate us from the love of Christ?” Today, not even our global pandemic or our uncertainties about life, will separate us from our beloved. Jesus finds our sorrows, our disappointments, and he feeds us with miracles. He pushes away our fear to find us. He quenches our souls with miraculous love.
Jesus feeds us here. Mercy is more than a morsel. There is enough for each of us to be satisfied. He also invites us to break open our lives, as he does the bread. We can feed others with love because love is what we receive here. We really can love beyond our fear. There is always enough for every person’s hunger under heaven.
The hand of the Lord feeds us, he answers all our needs.
God give you peace.