August 2, 2020 – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the first reading from the Prophet Isaiah, we heard words of encouragement and upliftment.  “All you who are thirsty, come to the water!  You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat”.  In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that nothing will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Dearest sisters and brothers, I personally feel that these uplifting words from the prophet and St. Paul is being addressed to each of us now.  Today, we are living in an uncertain time; a time one is not sure what is going to happen next.  A time one cannot plan for any future.  A time when each person is afraid of his or her neighbor wondering whether he or she is positive with the virus.

Living in this moment, we hear the voice of St. Paul telling us that neither life nor death will separate us from the love Christ meaning; that whatever happens from the time of our birth until we die, cannot separate us from the love Christ.

In the Gospel, Christ manifested his love by feeding the 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish.  Like these 5,000 people we are all hungry.  We have so many needs; especially the fear and anxiety that are pervading our lives today.  For example, we want Covid-19 to pass by us.

Jesus, like he did in the Gospel, wants to solve our problems.  It is important to remind ourselves that each of us has a role to play in bringing a solution to our problems and that of the entire world.  Jesus in feeding the 5,000 people did not call down food from heaven. Rather, he fed the people with bread and fish provided by his apostle.

In the same way, Jesus wants us to bring his attention to the needs of our brothers and sisters like the apostles did today.  We can do that by praying for our sisters and brothers.  We are also to provide to God our various gifts, talents, and wealth, through which God will feed our brothers and sisters in need.  God does not expect more than we have but he wants our little so that he can multiply it.

We are, for example, on a practical note to help contain the spread of Coronavirus by doing our little part:  wearing masks, keeping our distance, avoiding crowding, washing our hands and so forth. These are the little things we can do so that God can do the rest.

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