Gospel Meditation

August 2, 2020
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Many people in our world are hungry and thirsty. This hunger and thirst go well beyond physical needs for food, security, and shelter. Many are emotionally and spiritually parched, too. Behind every act of violence is a soul who hungers. People live with relationships that actually starve them. They are abused, exploited, disrespected, laughed at, and marginalized. There is a lot of confusion and inner pain that needs to be acknowledged and expressed. We all long to be understood and loved, even when our inner demons or who I am make it difficult to be. Do you live with inner confusion and pain? Folks often wander through life without any real direction or purpose and take their cues from what seems satisfying or popular at the moment. The deeper dots of our lives can easily remain unconnected, and we can find ourselves without grounding, purpose, or real happiness. Life becomes shallow and without real purpose as we hunger and thirst for an ultimate love.

It’s easier to see the physical hungers and thirsts. We try to respond to these as best we can. Much more needs to be done. With all that God’s earth can provide, nobody ought to face sleep at night with a belly that’s empty. It’s sinful. It’s unjust. But isn’t all hunger unjust? It doesn’t need to be, and it should not be. Just as no one ought to be physically hungry and thirsty, there is really no need to be emotionally or spiritually deficient either. If we have more privileges at our fingertips, it is easier to try to satisfy our emotional and spiritual hungers and thirst by acting on impulse or self-indulgence, carelessly following passions, or by seeking self-destructive ways to dull the ache of emptiness.

Folks need to know where to look for nourishment and need the right friends to help them find it. We may not think that we have enough to respond to and to satisfy all of the needs, but we do. It doesn’t take much. Five loaves and two fish provided for a huge crowd. With God, all things are possible. Our faith provides the direction for where God’s children must go to find the nourishment they seek. It also tells us how to structure life so that justice and equity can be a reality for all. It also tells us how to respond to pain, sinfulness, and confusion. Come to the water and then help another get there.



2 de agosto de 2020
18º Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

Este pasaje del Evangelio de Mateo tiene una relación muy íntima con la institución de la Eucaristía. El Señor Jesús pronuncia las mismas palabras de la Última Cena. “Tomó los cinco panes y los dos pescados, levantó los ojos al cielo, partió los panes y los entregó a los discípulos. Y los discípulos los daban a la gente”. (Mateo 14:19). Cristo es el Pan del Cielo que se da en oblación para todos. No importa la raza ni el color de la piel, Él se compadece de la persona y se da en alimento.

El Papa Francisco nos ayuda a comprender este hermoso mensaje del Evangelio de la primera multiplicación de los panes. Pero Jesús, tranquilamente respondió: “Denles ustedes de comer”. ¡Todos comieron hasta saciarse y aun así sobró! En este acontecimiento podemos acoger tres mensajes. El primero es la compasión. Frente a la multitud que lo sigue y- por así decir- no lo deja en paz, Jesús no actúa con irritación, no dice ‘esta gente me molesta’. Sino que siente compasión. El segundo mensaje es compartir. Primero la compasión, lo que sentía Jesús y después el compartir. El tercer mensaje: el prodigio de los panes preanuncia la Eucaristía. Se ve en el gesto de Jesús que recitó la bendición antes de partir los panes y darlos a la multitud. En la Eucaristía Jesús no da un pan, sino el pan de la vida eterna se dona a Sí mismo, ofreciéndose al Padre por amor a nosotros. Pero nosotros, debemos ir a la Eucaristía con esos sentimientos de Jesús, la compasión. Y con ese deseo de Jesús, compartir. Compasión, compartir, Eucaristía, éste es el camino que Jesús nos indica en este Evangelio.