⏰Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

📖Isa 55:1-3; Psalm 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18 (R.v.16); Rom 8:35, 37-39; Matt 4:4b; Matt 13:44-523


After their return from Babylonian exile, the Israelites observed that their once glorified city has been reduced to a state of ruin. Many of them could not just bear the sight of that and they started losing the hope of ever rising again. That was the origin of the invitation which the prophet Isaiah gave out to the people in the First Reading of today. There was the danger that they would prefer to go back into slavery or even begin to seek help and protection from surrounding pagan nations and so get contaminated. Isaiah therefore encourages them to remain with the Lord as he is the fountain of living spring (cf. Isa 55:1; Jer 2:13; John 4:14) as well as the food that endures for endures forever (cf. Isa 55:2; Ps 136:25; John 6:27). Moreover, his love is everlasting for those who put their trust in him (Isa 55:3; Ps 100:5, 103:17, 136:1; Jer 31:3).

The Gospel gives us the practical of what Isaiah was saying above. Jesus was moved with compassion upon seeing the condition of those who were following him. So, he healed those of them who were sick and provided food for the hungry.

After feeding them, twelve baskets full of broken pieces were left over. The number ‘twelve’ stands for universality. That could signify that even after feeding the immediate people before him, he still has more that can satisfy all the nations through all generations. His faithfulness is from generation to generation (cf. Ps 119:90). We experience that faithfulness in a miraculous way in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, where Jesus makes himself food for our spiritual life.

Indeed, his faithfulness and love last forever and nothing can stop it. St Paul, in the Second Reading makes that point clearly. There is nothing that can stop the love of God for us (Rom 8:35-39) because God cannot cease to exist and God is love (1 John 4:16). He showed his love for us even when we were nothing (cf. Rom 5:8), how much more now that Christ has paid a price for us and bought us over for God.

As followers of Christ, we are encouraged to make this love of God available to all around us. The miracle of the loaves (Matt 14:15-21) is often interpreted as the miracle of generosity. Through the generosity of one small boy (John 6:9), all were able to bring out what they had kept for themselves and so, all ate to their satisfaction. We must be generous to others with our talent, time and treasure.

Finally, we are encouraged to remain steadfast to God not minding any trouble that might befall us. God is capable of providing all we need, including protection from the powers of the evil one. He tells us through the prophet Isaiah, “I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, merciful love for David” (Isa 55:3). God does not go back on his words; he will surely not leave us nor forsake us (cf. Deut 31:8).

May his love be upon us today as we place all our trust in him. Amen

Have a blessed Sunday. Peace be with you.

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