YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE 18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: COMPASSIONATE GOD
BY: Fr. Emmanuel Nwokeji.
HOMILY: Matt.14:13-21, Is.55:1-3, Rom.8:35,37-39.
God is omniscient Being who knows what to do at every point in human need and situation. In our ugly situations, when things are falling apart, God is still in charge. His silent is not as a result of not knowing what to do. There are many things undone in our lives because we have not discover the quota we ought to contribute in other to make things happen.
Today, the Gospel presents to us the story of Jesus multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish after praying over them. The miracle of these five leaves and two fish taking care of about five thousand men, besides women and children whose population obviously are greater in most religious gathering has a message for us. God does not perform any miracle for satisfying our curiosity and fantasy, but to teach about His kingdom. There are some miracles we expect something to happen. For instance, when a sick person is brought before Jesus, we all expected to see healing. In the multiplication miracle none of the disciples perceived what Jesus has intended to do.
Jesus taught about the kingdom of God through this miracle. What we must do for those in need to be relief. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (Jn12:24). If we refused to do something regarding to our needs or the other, God’s care may seemingly invisible and unknown to us. “Little is much when God is in it”. When we offer willingly our lives, time, money and talents for the need of others, God will use these ordinary things to create extraordinary things.
The disciples of Jesus are concerned for the people, concerned for Jesus and, even concerned for themselves. ” This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves”. Jesus responded, ….”give them something to eat”. The five loaves of bread and fish brought by disciples was through reluctance. “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish”. The idea of disciples’ compassion or concern for the people to go away is not perfect, but Jesus brought a better idea that perfected the disciples’ idea of compassion or concern, also counters their impossibility with possibility.
Jesus remains a teacher. He is teaching the disciples how to do things right or do the right thing. When you meet a hungry people, give them something to eat.
Jesus teaches again how to be good shepherds and good Stewards of God’s people entrusted to our care as priests, pastors, evangelists, deacons etc. Let me; Fr Emmanuel Nwokeji and you remind ourselves again: give people what they need in accordance with God’s demand for the salvation of their souls.
My dear beloved in Christ, let us learn to be compassionate as Jesus. If we are sincerely move by compassion when we see the needy, the poor and hungry, let us, no matter how little follow Jesus instruction: Give them something to eat. If you see jobless people, find them work to do.
I pray to God today to send more labourers into his vineyard (our church and country) since the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few (Matt.9:37). Many are in need but few are willing to help and bring relief to human situation. May God who cares for his people season and out of season be compassionate to you and your family. May you be counted among the labourers in God’s vineyard.
Fr. Emmanuel Nwokeji.