MONDAY, EIGHTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Num 11:4-15; Ps 81:12-17; Mt 14:13-21
A FIELD HOSPITAL FOR THE NEEDY
Pope Francis said, we find Jesus’ wounds in carrying out works of mercy, giving to the body (and also the soul) of our wounded brothers (and sisters), because he is hungry, thirsty, naked and humiliated, because he is a slave, he’s in jail, he is in the hospital. Those are the wounds of Jesus today. And Jesus asks us to take, a leap of faith, towards Him, but through these His wounds. (Cf. Homily July 2, 2013)
‘Oh, great! Let’s set up a foundation to help everyone and do many good things to help’. That’s important, but if we remain on this level, we will only be philanthropic. We need to touch the wounds of Jesus, we must caress the wounds of Jesus, we need to bind the wounds of Jesus with tenderness, we have to kiss the wounds of Jesus, and do this literally. Just think of what happened to St. Francis, when he embraced the leper?
In today’s gospel, we can see how God is concerned for the care of his people. We can read the miracle of feeding the five thousand in two ways. On the one hand, it is, without doubt, a miraculous event, pointing to the divine origins of Jesus. On the other hand, we can also imagine how the action of the disciples of sharing the little food they had with those around triggered a similar movement among the crowd, many of whom had brought some food with them. When everyone shared, everyone had enough.
This is what is behind Jesus’ wish to feed the hungry. Surely, he does provide bread to satisfy physical hunger, but the story of the gospel today carries a deeper meaning; that of the invitation to get fully involved in the lives of those in need. Today the hungry need to be fed, the refugees need a home and the sick and wounded need healing. Especially, with the pandemic, many have reached poverty and destitution. May we, the members of the Church, join together to become messengers of healing, a ‘Field hospital’ for the needy.
Response: Sing joyfully to God our strength.
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