Reflection for August 2020

Community Word: Jesus the Bread of Life, answers the needs of those who heed Him.

Order: “Come…listen that you may have life.” (Is 55:3a)

Reflection:

Jesus is the Bread of Life who answers the needs of those who heed Him. The feeding of 5,000 men, excluding women and children, in the multiplication of bread and fish, is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels, so that we are always reminded that Jesus will do everything to meet the needs of His people. The miracle also reveals that Jesus is the true “bread from heaven” who is all sufficient to meet our overwhelming need.

In John 6:35, Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst.” Jesus speaks of Himself as the “Bread of Life” who promises to satisfy all our physical and spiritual needs, if we give our full trust in Him and yield to His holy Will. As the order for the month instructs us, “Come…listen that you may have life,” (Is 55:3a). We are invited to draw near to God and lend Him our ears. Through prayers, reading and reflecting on the scriptures, and the Sacraments, we come close to Jesus and are able to listen to His voice, giving us fullness of life.

Our theme for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time tells us: We heed Jesus when we are compassionate and generous in sharing our blessings to others. We are aware that during this time of pandemic, many people are hungry and in need of our attention and support. In this crisis, there is a great opportunity for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, sharing our blessings to our brothers and sisters, in our own community, to our neighbors and even to strangers. Do we reach out to them and be instruments of compassion and generosity, as our Lord Jesus would do? When He saw the crowd, “his heart was moved with pity for them,” (Mt 14:14). Let us not allow this time to pass doing nothing for those in need, as we claim God’s promise: “Heed me, and you shall eat well, and shall delight in rich fare,” (Is 55:2b).

The theme of the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time is: We heed Jesus when we take courage and put our trust in Him. Life is uncertain and can be likened to a boat cruising the sea. Perhaps for most part, the sea may be quiet and calm and the voyage is pleasant and enjoyable. But when there is a storm and big waves lash on the boat, it becomes dangerous and fearful. In life, when everything is well, we feel self-sufficient and confident. But when trials come and we face insurmountable difficulties, we feel helpless, anxious and afraid. Doubt sets in and our faith waivers. Yet, we have no one to turn to but our Lord Jesus who is ready to save us from our woes if we just put our faith and trust in Him. There is no one who can calm the storms of our life but the Jesus. This is His promise to those who believe: “The Lord himself… shall walk before him and prepare the way of his steps,” (Ps 85:13a, 4).

We heed Jesus when we possess an unwavering faith in His mercy, is the theme for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary time. On this Sunday’s reading, the Gospel describes the unwavering faith of the Canaanite woman. Her persistence, humility and deep faith caught the attention of Jesus and He responded by answering her plea – the healing of her daughter. Jesus demonstrated that God’s mercy is not for an exclusive few, but it is for all who put their faith in Him. We can learn from the Canaanite woman and persevere in our faith, fully trusting in the merciful heart of God. We can only be saved by our great faith, through persistence and humility, confident that God will answer our supplications. As we do, His response is, “Great is your faith! Let it be done as you wish,” (Mt 15:28).

On the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, the theme is: We heed Jesus when we proclaim Him, Son of the living God. As disciples of Christ, our thoughts, words and actions must always reflect the life and virtues of our Lord Jesus. The way we live and the way we deal with one another should be a proclamation of Jesus, the Son of the living God. Our actions should speak louder than our words, and in this time of uncertainty and confusion, our life may be the only Gospel, the only light to our brethren in the community and our family. Our life should serve as a bedrock, a strong foundation of our Catholic faith, persistently pursuing righteousness and holiness. When we testify to our Lord Jesus Christ we are truly His Church, and this is His promise: “… upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it,” (Mt 16:18).

Finally for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, the theme is: We heed Jesus when we do not conform to the ways of the world. Our great sources of temptation are the flesh, Satan and the world. The world offers allurements, materialism, patterns of worldly relationships, structures and values that go against God’s laws. If we are not careful, we can be enslaved by our desire for self-indulgence, pleasure, prestige and power. As followers of Christ, we are called to deny ourselves and be detached from worldliness that hinders us from our relationship with God. By prayers, fasting, living God’s word, and avoiding occasions of sin, we will learn to tame and control our senses. We become transformed and live for Jesus alone and not for the world. Because Jesus gives us this promise: “…whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,” (Mt 16:26b).

 
 

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