Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 29, 2018

Feast today, Sta.-Martha-Parish-Kalawaan-Pasig-City-Philippines

Reading 1 2 KGS 4:42-44

A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing to Elisha, the man of God,
twenty barley loaves made from the firstfruits,
and fresh grain in the ear.
Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.”
But his servant objected,
“How can I set this before a hundred people?”
Elisha insisted, “Give it to the people to eat.”
“For thus says the LORD,
‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.’”
And when they had eaten, there was some left over,
as the LORD had said.

Responsorial Psalm PS 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18

R. (cf. 16) The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.

R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

The eyes of all look hopefully to you,
and you give them their food in due season;
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.

R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

Reading 2 EPH 4:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace:
one body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

Alleluia LK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has risen in our midst.
God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes
and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip,
“Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves
that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

Sunday Gospel Reflections
Fr. Toto Cerada, SDB
Mary Help of Christians Parish, Calamba City

More than Bread

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 29, 2018
John 6:1-15

The Bread photo by Xenon Oble and Marvin Obedo.

Jesus said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” (Jn. 6:5)

Unlike the other Gospels, the Gospel of John does not have the story of the Institution of the Eucharist on the Last Supper. However, it does not mean John the evangelist does not write anything about the Eucharist. In fact, John includes the most sublime discourse on the bread of life in his chapter 6. The chapter itself is relatively long, and the Church has distributed it into several Sunday Gospel readings (from today up to August 26). This discourse on the Bread of Life begins with the lovely story of Jesus feeding the multitude.

The story highlights Jesus’ question to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” (Jn. 6:5) Philip, who seems to be familiar with the place, gives impossibility as an answer, “Two hundred denarii (or two hundred days’ wages) worth of food would not be enough…” (Jn. 6:7) Philip is just realistic, but he misses the mark. Jesus does not ask “how much,” but “where.” Perhaps, if Philip lives in the 21st century, he would direct Jesus to the nearest shopping mall! The point is that Philip would eagerly reduce the entire problem into a financial matter. Philip is not wrong because finance and economy are the backbones of our daily lives and even our survival as species, But money is not the only thing that matters. Philip will later see during the multiplication of the bread, that the “where” is pointing back to Jesus Himself. And as we will see in succeeding of chapter 6, the bread Jesus offers is not meant only for biological and economic benefits, but for eternal life.

I am currently having my clinical pastoral education at one of the hospitals in Metro Manila. One of the sacred missions entrusted to me as a chaplain is to distribute the Holy Communion to the sick. By ministering to the sick, especially through prayer and giving Holy Communion, I am reminded that the physical and biological aspects of our humanity are not the only things to be taken care of. It is true that many patients I have encountered are struggling with financial issues, like how to get the money to pay the hospital bills and expensive medicines. They have to wrestle also with their sickness that sometimes is incurable. I myself am at a loss on how to help them in these pressing concerns. However, often, the patients themselves are the ones who assure me that God will find a way, as He always does. What I do, then, is to affirm and strengthen their faith. Prayer and giving of the Holy Communion are the visible manifestations of Jesus’ real presence among us, and His presence is even more felt by the sick. Like our Gospel’s today, Jesus does not only take care of the physical aspect of our lives, but more fundamentally, He brings us to the deeper reality that our souls all long for. Paradoxically, in their hunger, they discover Jesus.

Being strong and healthy, we often forget this simple truth. Like Philip, we are more concerned with amassing wealth, attaining fame, and achieving success. Even as people serving the Church and the community, we are spending more time in organizing charity events, raising funds, and even arguing among ourselves over trivial matters. We miss the point why we are going to the Church. We miss encountering Jesus. We pray and hope that we are able to answer Jesus’ question rightly to Philip and us, “Where shall we find food for us to eat?”

Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP

These words of Jesus described d pipol of his time 2 whom he addressed his parables. Don’t d pipol of our time behave in d same way still? Conversion is a long way. But we’ve got 2 start somehow. Do it now.
To mke d seed, d Word, bear fruit, 1 must show & hv these: -cognitive: knwledge & understnding -affective: emotion (“joy” that lasts in spite tribulation or persecution) -psych-motor: put in2 action wat 1 knws Accept d Word. Face d challenges of d world.
Dis is nt a parable f hope 4 d weeds 2 change. They remain weeds evn until harvst time. It is 4 d wheats 2 stay strong amidst bad elements. Stay focused. Bear gud fruits.

Fr. Ramon T. Salibay, O.P.

Feast of St. Martha, July 29th

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