YEAR B: CATHOLIC HOMILY FOR THE 17TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE LORD SATISFIES THE DESIRE OF EVERY LIVING THING.
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
READINGS: 2Kings 4: 42-44, Ps. 145, Eph. 4: 1-6, John 6: 1-15
Through many ways God proves that he owns the world and that he loves all that he has made and specially cares for them. Without this loving act of God humanity and indeed all living things would not be able to survive even for a second in this world despite their own efforts. It is in him we live and move and have our being and we owe our life to him.
God in the first reading used his chosen and great prophet Elisha to take care of the needs of his people of old. God acted through Elisha to prove that his concern and priority is how to satisfy our needs; he does not need anything and even if he does like in the case of Elisha, our own needs are of paramount importance to him and a priority to be attended to. He shows his generosity and selflessness in his relationship with his people. This was the reason for Elisha giving out what was meant for him to the people. Here like in the gospel of today, God multiplied the little barley loaves and fresh grain. It was an impossible mission for his servant just as in the case of Jesus in the gospel was also an incredible thing for Phillip. The servant of Elisha saw as humans that such quantity of food cannot go round to a hundred people; too insufficient to manage. This was a similar scenario in the gospel when Phillip reported to Jesus that two hundred Dinarii would not be able even to give the crowd a little pebble.
Beloved in Christ, what humans see as impossible becomes not only possible with God but too simple and easy. This is why Luke made us aware that with God all things are possible (Lk. 1: 37). It is important to note that God notices our needs even before we ask and he feels our needs and satisfies even our inner longing. This is a challenge to us Christians who have the image of God especially when many of us do not notice the needs of those around us and if we do, we make a jest of them and many wait till they bow down begging even at that many close their minds against them. How would we feel if God should treat us this way?
Beloved, let us observe that it was the charity of others to Elisha and the reserved food of the lad that they made available for the satisfaction of the needs of others. What would Elisha have used if the person did not give him those gifts? What would Jesus have used if the little boy did not make available his little food security to Jesus? Is it not possible that some people in that crowd reserved theirs for personal and selfish consumption? God needs you to do the miracle of saving and serving the other’s needs would you resist him?
Beloved, some of us excuse themselves that what they have is little and not enough to share but that is escapist attitude. God makes abundant our insufficiency to become not only sufficient but abundant and overflowing. When with good heart we allow God in our littleness and show charity, God of providence would surprise us by what he would do in our lives because as God lives, the oil shall never finish and the flour as well. St Paul advises us Christians to live a life worthy of our calling. Our first calling before the vocation we are in now and the profession we have embraced is first and foremost Christians and should be like Christ and do what he does.
Let us be charitable and then maintain the unity of the spirit given to us. We share one call, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father who is above all, through all and is in all. May God make us aware of our duty and demands of our call as Christians. Lord our eyes look unto you and may you supply our needs in due time and may you be close to us whenever we call upon you so that we may speak of the glory of your reign and declare your mighty works in our lives, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf