Thoughts on the Readings for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) 2014

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/080314.cfm 


Our Gospel this Sunday is Matthew’s account of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the feeding of the 5,000.  We are told that after learning of the death of John the Baptist, Jesus withdrew to a “deserted place by himself.” The crowds learned of this and followed him.   When it was evening the disciples came and said to Jesus:  “This is a deserted place and it is already late, dismiss the crowds so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.   Jesus said to them, ‘There is no need for them to go away, give them some food yourselves.’  But they said to him, ‘Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.’”   Jesus then took what they had blessed it and gave it to the disciples who in turn gave it to the crowds.  “They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over --- twelve wicker baskets full.”  

I have a friend who likes to say:  “See what happens when you pray before you eat.”   And while there is an element of truth to this, I think there are three other things that are important to note in this Gospel.  First, notice that Jesus started with what the disciples had.  Second, after he blessed it he gave it to the disciples to distribute to the crowds.  Third, notice the abundance that was left over.   Taken together these things remind us that amazing things can happen when we allow God to bless what we have.   

Our first reading this weekend is from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. It shares the theme of the Gospel.  In the section we read this weekend the Lord invites the people to come to him “without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk ………… Heed me, and you will eat well you shall delight in rich fare.”  

For our second reading this Sunday we continue to read from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans.  In the section we read this weekend we are reminded that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.  

Questions of Reflection/Discussion:
1.  Have you ever felt that you didn’t have the resources/gifts needed to do something?   
2.  Has God ever blessed your efforts so that you were able do something you didn’t think you could do? 
3. Have you ever felt separated from God’s love?  

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