Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – A

1-3 August 2014
Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič

Is 55:1-3; Rom 8:35.37-39; Mt 14:13-21

God is moved to compassion and pity by the needs of his people. This is plainly seen in today’s gospel reading, where Jesus upon seeing the vast crowd that was following him his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. Even though Jesus was more than likely tired and in need of rest himself, he nevertheless saw to the needs of the sick and those who sought his help. This is a good lesson for us, especially when we are tempted to ignore the pressing needs of others that we can help if we want to, or when we get tired of being good and responding to every request that is made of us.

When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” The disciples were being practical and they suggested that everyone go and buy food for themselves. This is the logic of the world and society, where everyone should provide for themselves, but Jesus challenges this way of thinking by telling his followers There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves. Instead of telling the people to buy some food or buying something for them, Jesus replies by suggesting that they give from their own goods.

Oftentimes we might feel that we have nothing to give or that what we have is too little, however, even a little can mean a lot for someone who has nothing at all. The miracle of the loaves and fishes, that Jesus distributed out to a large crowd of over 5,000 men not including the women and children present, is a reminder then that the lives of those in need amongst us can be changed for the better when we have a heart full of compassion and pity towards them. Our lives then take upon more meaning and they are filled with happiness and peace when we start sharing them with others.

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