18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2 August 2020

Readings:- Isaiah 55:1-3,  Romans 8:35, 37-39, Matt.14:13-21. 

The readings from to-day’s Scriptures are very apt for the times in which we are living, and the troubles we are experiencing across the world.

In the passage from Isaiah the prophet invites his people, and all people to come to the feast the Lord has prepared for them. “Come you thirsty, you who have no money, receive and eat.  Heed me and you will eat well.”  Don’t we hear this call to the Food Pantries across the globe, as they try to feed the hungry, poor, and the jobless people during this pandemic?

Our next door neighbor has knocked on our door on three occasions recently with extra food her son brought her, and saved us a trip to the grocery store for necessities by her thoughtfulness and kindness to others.  A colleague of mine while waiting for a bus to go shopping saw a couple coming from the School Pantry laden with groceries and prepared boxed meals, struggling to walk and carry their supplies home.  She called after them and offered them one of her shopping bags.  The lady exclaimed “Oh, thank you Angel of God. I just prayed to God to help me and you came behind me with a hold-all.”

In Matthew’s gospel Jesus withdrew to a deserted place, (he thought) but the crowd followed him on foot.  “When Jesus saw them he was moved with pity for them, and cured their sick.  Jesus’ concern for the sick and needy must have extended well into the evening as his disciples wanted to send the crowds into the villages before it was too late to buy food for themselves.  However, Jesus immediately challenges them and us – “There is no need for them to go away, give them some food yourselves.  And we know what happened!  How do you and I share with those around us during these difficult times of sickness, loss of employment, mental health issues, evictions, hunger, political and racial unrest?  It may seem impossible, and one feels so helpless – but that caring note, phone call, text message, ride to the doctor’s office or the grocery store, may prove to be someone’s “Angel from heaven”.

Roman’s asks us the question “What will separate us from the love of Christ?”  The simple answer is “Nothing.”  Paul reminds Christians “in all things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.”

Let us remember Jesus’ promise – “I am with you ALWAYS.” And let us have eyes to see, and ears to hear God’s word for us in this “new world” we live in, and be open to being an “Angel from heaven,” for someone this week!

                                                                                    Therese Lenehan O.P.

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