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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.

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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Seventeenth Sunday in the Ordinary Time B Download This Homily

 

 

July 29, 2018

Seventeenth Sunday in the Ordinary Time B

 

II Kg 4:42-44,

Eph 4:1-6,

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.

 

He feeds us most when we are most empty

 

 

Kevin Buckman, one of the children in the movie Parenthood, has an anxiety disorder, with which the entire family struggles. It is a paralyzing disorder, one that keeps Kevin from enjoying almost anything, causing him to despair and cry out at any adversity, no matter how small.

In light of this Gospel reading today, just think how often we are all Kevin Buckmans in our faith life. We see the adversity of living in a fallen world with the consequences of our own free-will choices, and our impulse is to despair. We look to the false promises of this world, see their falsity, and yet obsess on the material for salvation rather than look to the Lord for sustenance.  Find ourselves falling into trap repeatedly, constantly.

Jesus speaks explicitly about the folly of anxiety in Matthew 6:25-34. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” In a moment of foreshadowing, Jesus instructs his disciples not to become overanxious about “what shall we eat?” and “what shall we drink?”, but to “seek first His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”

Now, Jesus wasn not t saying that we do not have to work and plan for our own sustenance. We are called to feed others as well as feeding ourselves, to clothe others as well as ourselves, and so on. But giving in to anxiety and despair paralyzes us so that we cannot do any of those tasks. We have no faith, we have no hope, and then we have no will or strength to act.

Instead, Jesus calls us to rely on Him, to put our trust in Him, especially when it comes to doing His work. We may look at the poverty and inhumanity of this world and want to give up. How can we possibly feed the world with just a few loaves of bread and what we have gathered for the local food shelf? How can we clothe the world from just a few hand-me-downs? How can we evangelize the Good News in a world obsessed with materialism and hate? We cannot, on our own, do those tasks, especially not with the meager offerings we bring. But Jesus Christ takes those offerings, blesses them, and multiplies them in ways we cannot comprehend nor even see — especially if our anxiety and despair has closed our eyes and our hearts to Him.

The late Monsignor Ronald Knox in one of his books makes much of this small boy who was picked out of the crowd and was being asked to give up his precious lunch.  Yet he plays a crucial role.  It was his tiny contribution which made it possible for the whole crowd to be filled and satisfied.  It is typical of Jesus to make use of someone, a very insignificant person, in the doing of his work.  This is something which happens all the time.  How many times have I been chosen to be an instrument of God?  How many times have I failed to recognize some person I regarded as being of no importance who was in fact bringing me something from God?  How often have I not recognized presence of God in what needed to be done?

We know also that our offering is worth of 5 loaves and 2 fish of the poorest type. The leftovers on the shelf, the sardines only the poor ate: the boy had no idea of where his offering would lead. We never know where love will bear fruit.

God is with us in the ordinary, the God is not just at the church. Where we are in life, he finds us, and feeds us most when we are most empty. He will feed us always, more than enough love in the heart of God for all.

.”Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Matthew 6:25-34.

 

Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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