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Saturday, August 1, 2020

Reflection 2020-08-02 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 55:1-3; Psalm 145; Romans 8:35, 37-39; Matthew 14:13-21
The First Reading is a call from God: Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. With this, God tells us we delight in eating what is good and delight in rich food when we listen to him. The Gospel fulfills this when Jesus fed the five thousand men, not counting women and children when they come to listen to him.
The word listen or something that describes it, it\s said three times in the First Reading:
  1. Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good and delight yourself in rich food. When we listen to God, we will not be in want.
  2. Incline your ear and come to me. To come to God is to incline our ear. We approach God only when we call on him in truth, as the Responsorial Psalm says. Calling on God in truth means to obey him. Hearing God is of no use if there is no obedience.
  3. Listen, so that you may live. When we listen, then we will live. Obedience leads to the life God wants us to have.
St Paul tells us how much God loves us: for I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor Angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing can separate us from his love. This proves that God loves us so much he only has great plans for us and he compares this to eating good food.
If we want to have this fullness of life, to live the life God wants us to have, there is no other way to achieve this but by obeying him in love and trust. The disciples saw how Jesus provided for the crowd when they obeyed him and gave him all they had: five loaves and two fish.
This is how we live the life God wants us to have: surrendering to him all we have and obeying him. Everyone has a desire for God, but some do not realize it. When are searching for something in life, we are searching for God. This desire for God manifests itself in our desire for something. The First Reading tells us: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money, without price. When we thirst for something, we are invited to come to the waters. Jesus is the Living Water so we are called to come to Jesus. When we feel empty or incomplete, we are commanded to come to God and buy without money. We cannot buy peace, security, love. These are gifts from God, and are free. All we need to do is look to him and he will give it to us because God loves us. While these may be gifts, these will be of value only when we call on God in truth.
What are your needs? Do you have financial needs? Or physical needs perhaps? Or spiritual needs? The only way to satisfy these is to listen to God, call on him in truth and obey.
Lord, I come to you because I am searching for you. Help me to listen to you, to call you in truth and to obey you. I want the life your Father has planned for me. Here I am Lord, I come to do your will. Speak Lord, your servant listens.

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