Gospel Reflection – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Today’s Gospel reminds us that God will provide.
Have you ever been in a situation that you can’t imagine getting out of? It’s doesn’t have to be food related, although even during the lockdown some people have been unable to buy food who, days before, never thought they’d struggle. These issues, whether related to food or not, can come upon us with little or no notice. We live as though everything is taken care of, as though everything is on tracks.
But sometimes we find that things aren’t on tracks. It has been said that every one of us is just three bad situations away from homelessness. Life is more precarious than we might think. And, when we get to the very worst of situations and have no roof over our head and nobody to help us, there’s just one thing we need more than anything: food.
We have learnt that God provides. For the Israelites in the desert, God rained down food upon them. When they were homeless and starving, they became a most tenuous link between us and God, they were the line that God had blessed and from whom Christianity blossomed. What kept them going was God-given food.
When we attend Mass, we must always concentrate on the fact that Jesus is truly present, through the action of the priest, as our daily bread. Jesus will always provide.
He is the eputimy of empathy. He cares for us, wishes that we are cared for. He will go to great lengths to give us the sustainance we need.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew
Matthew 14:13-21
Jesus withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the people heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.
When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place, and the time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food’. Jesus replied, ‘There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves’. But they answered ‘All we have with us is five loaves and two fish’. ‘Bring them here to me’ he said. He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves handed them to his disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps remaining; twelve baskets full. Those who ate numbered about five thousand men, to say nothing of women and children.
The Gospel of the Lord