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Homily (Reflection) for the Eighteenth Sunday of the Year (A) (02nd August, 2020) on the Gospel

Is 55:1-3;
Ps 144:8-9.15-18 (R.V. 16);
Rom 8:35. 37-39;
Matt 14:13-21.
Topic: Why fret?
The book of Genesis tells us that “the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Gen 2:7). Hence, the Acts of the Apostles rightly calls God “the Author of life” (Acts 3:15). And for the psalmist, “… with thee [God] is the fountain of life; in thy light do we see light” (Ps 36:9). And specifically as Christians, Christ is our life, cf. Col 3:4.
We belong to God and He is able to take care of us. Hence Jesus tells us: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matt 6:25-26). “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death” (Prov 14:27).
Many behave today as if life is more important than God, the owner of life. We tend not to believe that “… Nothing is too hard for thee [God]” (Jer 32:17). Jesus confirmed this: “… with God nothing will be impossible …. What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Lk 1:37; 18:27; cf. Matt 19:26; Mk 10:27).
In today’s gospel we read:
When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away … (Matt 14:15-16)
The evening in the above conversation can be understood as the moment of need. Hence the prophet Isaiah reads: “At evening time, behold, terror! Before morning, they are no more …” (Is 17:14). For the psalmist: “in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers” (Ps 90:6). No matter how the evening looks like, it is God who has the answer to every situation, cf. Prov 16:1.
When it was evening in the life of Job he said: “As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause” (Job 5:8). Even when your friends scorn you, your eye should pour out tears to God and not to any other thing, Job 16:20. In line with these, the psalmist wrote: “Our God is a God of salvation; and to GOD, the Lord, belongs escape from death” (Ps 68:20).
The crowd needed not go away simply because they were in need. But what do Christians do today? Christians including some of their leaders go to native doctors.
Christians should “have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your [our] requests be made known to God (Phil 4:6). Saint James asks us to “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind” (Jas 4:8). God will surely fulfil his purpose for each and everyone us, cf. Ps 57:2.
There is a story in Father Gerard Fuller’s book, Stories for all seasons about a poor but good woman who lived in the same duplex with the owner of the duplex, “a man of no faith, no prayer, no religion” who often made fun of the old lady’s trust in God. “One day this woman was praying, quite loudly, telling the Lord that she had no food in the house. The godless one heard her and decided: ‘I’m going to play a trick on the old gal.’ He took a loaf of bread, laid it at her front door, rang the bell, and then hurried back to his apartment, to hear through the wall her cry of delight: ‘Thank you, Lord, I just knew You wouldn’t fail me’. With a devilish grin the man came back to her front door and told her: ‘You silly old woman. You think God answered your prayer. Well, I’m the one who brought that loaf of bread’. Undaunted, the old woman exclaimed: ‘Praise the Lord! He always helps me in my needs, even if He has to use the devil to answer my prayers’” (p. 42).
God has answers to every situation. Trust Him. He can even use your enemies to manifest His glory.
Bible Reading: Gen 2:7-8; Matt 6:25-34; Jas 4:1-10.
Thought for today: Do you know that God is always faithful?
Let us pray: God, give us the grace to hope in you alone in every condition – Amen.
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