Sunday, July 29, 2018
Jul 29 - 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
+ The image of God feeding his people is a familiar and comforting one. We believe that it is not just a trite concept, nor a symbolic gesture: but we believe that he truly and in fact does provide for the sustenance of his creatures, all of them, but more especially humans who are created in his very image and likeness.
And the food that he has for us, his people, would therefore need to be a “specialty food” – a “gourmet-food” (if you will) – a signature, one of a kind, food that he himself prepares and distributes.
In the Book of Kings today we see Elisha the prophet distributing twenty loaves for a hundred people to eat. They ate and there was some left over. Jesus, in the gospel passage feeds 5000 from five loaves and two fish, thus manifesting himself as the Great Prophet who had come into the world; who had come into the world to not just feed men physically, but also spiritually – to give them what they craved for in their minds, their intellects, their hearts, their passions and their desires: things that he knew could only be satisfied when they ate the “food of God”: which would be summarized and encapsulated in the Eucharistic Bread and Wine that he would provide for all people, from the time of the Last Supper onwards.
We must revel in the fact that we too live in the “Day of the Great Prophet”: that Jesus is really here, now too! and that he feeds us all we want of the good things that really matter, and that there is always enough left over for another day!
And this for all of us: all who form his one Mystical Body, subsisting in one faith, one baptism and believing in one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all! This unity bleeds over from the supernatural to the natural – from supernatural law to natural law – from corporate law to individual law, personal law. We are living in an age in Western civilization where matters of faith by people living in the world, must be relegated to the position of a “hobby” for those weak and childish ones who like to cling to that sort of thing. This can be a fatal-fly-flaw in the ointment: the ONE PERSON, me, you, cannot live such a compartmentalized life in the first place – and addressing our spiritual needs, goes hand in hand with meeting our intellectual and physical needs in order to stay alive as a balanced human being.
We must therefore adopt the radically backwards and upside down reality that “unless we eat and drink the spiritual food of the Eucharist, the very real Body and Blood of Christ, in faith, we will never understand what is going on in ourselves, let alone in the world that is always poised to engulf us in fear, prejudice, and hatred.
Thanks be to God, because the hand of the Lord feeds us;
he is near to all who call upon him,
he answers all our needs.
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