Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle A — Modern

2014 Homilies Sunday Homilies

Gospel Matthew 14 : 13 – 21

Place our sufferings, disappointments and cares into the hands of Jesus, and he will work great marvels in our lives. This is not merely a nice saying meant to give comfort to someone during a time of distress, it is the reality of God’s care for us in every aspect of our lives. In the Gospel for today this can be seen in how Jesus deals with the news of John the Baptist’s death, the multitude that sought him out and His concern for providing food for the crowd.

When Jesus received the sad news of the death of John the Baptist he tried to get away by himself to a deserted place. It is part of human nature to take time to process news and events that have an impact on our lives, especially the loss of someone close to us. The human heart is complex and emotions come forth that we might not expect. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a heart that pours forth love for us in the midst of our loss and grief. When that Sacred Heart was faced with the reality of John’s death, it filled Jesus with sadness. His plan was to step away for a while, in a sense to make a little retreat

However, in Jesus’ case he was not to be given the time alone, for the multitude tracked him down. His heart was moved from the sadness of John’s death to pity over the multitude that seemed so lost. Jesus fed them with the Divine grace of his presence as he walked through the crowd healing the sick. It was a massive crowd of people, five thousand men plus women and children. I wonder what it must have been like to be there watching Jesus as he calmly and lovingly worked his way through the crowd. It is also a reminder to us that as Christians we can’t get stuck as perpetual mourners at the tomb, there is a time for us to refocus on the resurrection and to move forward into the community where our presence and gifts are needed.

Next was the miracle that touched them all. There was little food to feed this crowd, but Jesus takes the little they have, five loaves and two fish, blesses them and instructs the apostles to pass this out to feed the crowd. How on earth can five loaves and two fish feed five thousand men, plus women and children? On earth we are like the apostles who didn’t think this was going to work. This was a time when the kingdom of heaven showed its superiority over the kingdom of this world, and there was more than enough food. Actually, they end up with more leftovers than the five loaves and two fish they began with.

The lesson here for us is to trust Jesus. When we face bad news and want to step away for a while, at the same time entrust it to the Lord and allow him lift us up. When we are faced with the unexpected and have to change our plans, hand the frustration and disappointment to the Lord and trust in him for the grace and patience that is needed. When we face some problem and situation and it seems that we do not have enough of what it takes to get us through, trust whatever we have, how small it may seem, into the hands of Jesus and ask him to bless it. When we place our trust in the Lord, he will work great marvels in our lives.

Fr. Killian Loch, O.S.B.