THE EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
"You must believe in the truth that whatever God gives or permits is for your salvation."
No one ever wants to be in trouble in their lives, but imprudent and unwise decisions, choices, planning and deeds have always landed us into unpleasant and unexpected circumstances beyond our control. It is not fun when you must suffer to pay for the unfortunate consequences of a wrongful choice, decision, etc. in your life. Your whole life is not only shattered but also thrown into disarray.
Nevertheless, it is heartwarming and soothing when you have some one who stands with you to fight your course. They comfort you and console you to sustain your hopes and rebuild you again to bring you out of that mess. It tells how deep the love is, the care and concern are, and the readiness to guarantee your joy and happiness. You will forever be grateful and appreciative. I believe you will never dare to lose such a friend in your life!
Such was the situation of the Israelites in the first reading. This prophetic oracle consoled them about the ending of their Babylonian captivity, where they would return to their homeland from slavery. So, the message was God’s promise of a better future. This was aimed at giving them hope (about the renewal of God’s covenant) and keeping them from losing their faith. There was an assurance that poverty would not be a barrier to their enjoyment of God’s bounty.
As Christians we are exhorted to continue to trust and hope in the Lord regardless of the negative circumstances we might be experiencing in life. He is the great provider and the one who makes the impossible possible. Nothing at all can hinder us from enjoying His gratuitous love and care, not even our sins. Nothing should discourage or make you despair or faithless in God. He will never leave you abandoned or to fight alone.
That is why the Psalmist inspires, “Yahweh is good to all, His compassion is over all that He has made.” (Psalm 145:9)
In our second reading the Apostle Paul discouraged placing barriers for others against the love of God. The Judeo-Christians had insisted that the Gentile Christians must observe some aspect of the Mosaic law. Rather he urged that God saves us by our faith in His son Christ Jesus and His unearned and undeserved grace. Therefore, nothing can ever come between us and the love God made visible in Christ Jesus our LORD. Any suffering we may encounter is a trial through which we triumph.
Finally, Jesus Christ in our gospel reading demonstrates God the Father’s love and care for His people by feeding them. He did so spiritually by his preaching of the word, and physically by the miraculous multiplication of five loaves and two fish. The miracle manifests the Divinity of Jesus, the Divine providence and the Divine compassion. A Messianic sign where Jesus is showcased as the new Moses (Exodus 16) and the new Elisha (2 Kings 42-44).
As Christians, we are motivated to place our trust and confidence in Jesus Christ. To always strive to nourish our souls with the precious Word of God and the bread of life (the Holy Eucharist). It is needful to be with Jesus Christ in personal and family prayer and the adoration of the Holy Eucharist. We must be ready to make a spiritual impact in people’s life by sharing the Word of God with them. See yourself as the bridge on which others walk to God and from God to the world.
Stay Healthy… PRAY… Keep the Faith… Enjoy the Sun…
Give GOD a chance…
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.