Gospel Meditation



July 29, 2018              17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Have you ever wanted to be part of something bigger? Even the most independent among us likes to make changes and have an impact on others. In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus demonstrates one of his most iconic miracles — the multiplication of the loaves. It is a sign of the institution of the Eucharist, when we are fed not by bread but by the Body of Christ.

In the stories of ancient pagan gods, mighty deeds were done entirely under the gods’ own power. Mortals may have offered sacrifices to start the chain of events, but they played little role in the miraculous works themselves. Jesus is entirely different. The multiplication of the loaves is a prime example not only of Jesus’ power over nature, but of the way he equips his disciples.

First, Jesus asks Philip a question “to test him.” Jesus has seen the crowds and “he himself knew what he was going to do,” but he wants his disciples to start thinking about the problem and its solution. Andrew offers a suggestion, though he isn’t confident in it. “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus honors Andrew’s suggestion, takes the offered loaves, and delegates the Apostles to bring order to the crowd. When the crowd has been fed, the Apostles “gather the fragments left over.” In the process, they discover with wonder that bread has been produced in super abundance.

In the sacraments, God works through simple matter to make grace real in our lives. He works in and through us as well. Are you facing problems that could have spiritual solutions? Is there a need in your parish or community that you could meet? Whatever our hesitancies, Jesus honors our simple loaves and fishes. He invites us to participate in his generous work of redemption, just as we are.

© Liturgical Publications

 

MEDITACIÓN EVANGÉLICO

29 de julio de 2018     17º Domingo del tiempo ordinario

La lectura de Reyes y el Evangelio están entrelazadas por el misterioso milagro de multiplicación del pan, de lo poco a lo mucho. Humanamente, en el episodio de la multiplicación, el sirviente de Eliseo y Felipe no calcularon lo que necesitarían para saciar el hambre de la multitud. Sin embargo, la misericordia de Dios, como siempre, se excede en abundancia al dar crédito a la falta de cálculo de los encargados de repartir el pan. En el libro de Reyes, Eliseo, con veinte panes, logra saciar el hambre de cien personas. Eliseo le dice a su sirviente: “Dáselos y que coman, porque esto dice Yavé: comerán y sobrará. Les sirvieron, comieron y les sobró, tal como lo había dicho Yavé” (2 Re. 4:43-44).

En el Evangelio, Jesús, con cinco panes y dos pescados solamente, da de comer a unas cinco mil personas, y recogieron doce canastos llenos con los pedazos que no se habían comido (Jn. 6:12-13). Nadie puede estar preparado para la superabundancia de los regalos de Dios por medio de Jesús. En nuestra experiencia, tener abundancia de bienes y riqueza usualmente es un signo de trabajar mucho o heredar bienes. En las lecturas de este domingo, la abundancia es señal segura de los dones que recibimos de Dios. Para los discípulos de Jesús, que somos todos los bautizados, la grandeza de parte de Dios por medio de su Hijo Jesús es la Eucaristía que vivimos cada domingo. En la vida, existen otras abundancias de las que se debe agradecer. La familia y los amigos que disfrutamos alrededor de nosotros. ¿Hemos calculado estas maravillas?

© Liturgical Publications