Resources - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
A: Matt 14:13-21 - Multiplication of the loaves and fishes - 18th Sunday in Ordinary
The abundance of God's
love is at the heart of this Eucharistic story. We hear of Jesus reaction to the
death of his cousin John the Baptist where his desire for a lonely place of prayer
with his disciples became a place bustling with many thousands of people who left
their homes and villages to find Jesus. We hear that Jesus felt compassion for
them and healed their sick. From the outset, God's love for all people is apparent.
became obvious to the disciples that the people would need to be fed somehow and
that telling them to leave seemed the best option. While the response of Jesus
may seem short tempered "give them something to eat yourselves" it was
more likely that Jesus was encouraging the disciples to show initiative and use
the gifts they had to provide for the people.
when shown the available food, Jesus responds immediately with love and we hear
the first key element of Eucharist named when Jesus blessed God and our minds
immediately recall "blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your
goodness we have this bread to offer
" We then hear that Jesus broke
the bread, again a Eucharistic element we know by heart "he broke the bread
Finally we hear Jesus gave it to his disciples to distribute it among the crowd.
the end of the meal, God's abundance is made obvious by the twelve baskets full
that were gathered across the crowd. We hear echoes of God providing manna in
the desert in this miracle story that is repeated in Matthew, twice in Mark and
once in Luke and John. So this story is vital to the early communities and is
a rich source of inspiration and commissioning for us today.
are not meant to be passive after hearing God's word proclaimed during our Sunday
Eucharist, we are meant to be transformed as we believe the bread and wine are
transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. We too are transformed to be Christ
in the world. We too are meant to "feed" those around us and to be the
voice for the marginalised.
we saw hundreds of thousands of people responding to the Live Aid movement's call
to forgive debt in 3rd world countries and to support local village based initiatives
to feed their people. While you and I might not see ourselves as the next Bob
Geldoff, we are called to make a difference in our world. We are called to respond
to world hunger, local hunger, local issues where God's abundant love is needed
to transform what might appear as overwhelming as feeding the crowds who gathered
by the lake. It can be done if we are open to God.
Year C: Luke 12:13-21
- Parable of the rich farmer - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
speaks in a parable of a farmer whose main concern was growing as much grain as
possible, then finding a bigger storage facility, before he can settle back and
have a good time. Many of those listening to this story would have been working
on the land and their first response was probably one of envy. Envy is an emotion
that many of us have experienced and one that is exploited to the zenith degree
by our society. Far too often we are judged by what we have, our possessions and
our homes, rather than who we are as people.
is interesting to note how selfish the farmer's perspective is as his focus remains
on himself and by doing so, eliminates God and his neighbour. Jesus tells this
parable to warn of the effects of greed and avarice. Greed is a problem that transcends
millennia. Think about how many people fight over possessions, how many families
have been split over inheritance and on a world scale, how many wars have been
fought over their neighbour's wealth - today it is oil. There is something seductive
about possessions; it is almost as if by owning something grand we can make up
for the inadequacies we have in ourselves. Dignity has very little to do with
$s or possessions. The media presents a constant barrage of what we need and how
happy we will be as a result of buying whatever they are promoting this week.
"See it, want it, buy it." Shop-acholics are a product of our time,
it is called "retail therapy" and you are convinced that by spending
what money you have will result in 'feeling better.'
issue is not about having possessions or money. Both can be used for the betterment
of society and can transform the lives of poor people. The issue is about how
generous we are with what we have, whether that be a few possessions or an abundance.
Are we generous people or do we watch every penny and delight in saving this or
that bit of petrol money? Do we end up being the richest person in the graveyard?
What are we taking with us from this world to the next? We don't have to be rich
to be possessive and greedy. Our perspective as a disciple is to be focussed on
God and our neighbour. We are called to have generous hearts. If we find ourselves
attached to a particular possession, one thing we can do is lend it to someone!
It might sound simple but it can break the mental grip that particular possession
has on our mindset. Think about what you are possessive of and then consider how
you can share it.
Ministry Resources 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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