MONDAY, EIGHTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop & Doctor
Jer 28: 1-17; Ps 119:29,43,79,80,95,102; Mt 14: 13-21
HUNGRY FOR THE WORD OF GOD
The prophets Jeremiah and Hananiah were in the temple, each trying to prove himself as the true prophet, speaking in the name of the Lord God. They spoke in the ‘presence of the priests and of all the people’. This phrase is repeated three times in the first reading today. Who were these people and why were they in the temple? The king and the nobles of Judah were in exile in Babylon. The remnant left behind were hungry for the Word of God and they were relying on the prophets to teach them and to lead them to the truth.
In the Gospel, people went in search of Jesus and followed Him, eager to hear His teaching and to be healed of their sicknesses. Jesus took pity on them and healed the sick. He fed them with bread and fish to satisfy their hunger.
The same Jesus is with us today in the Eucharist always renewing His gift of self, which He made on the Cross. He is the spiritual food that we receive under the species of bread and wine. He speaks to us through the Sacred Scripture. His whole life was an act of total sharing of self out of love; thus, He loved to be with the people. He shared in their aspirations, their problems, the yearnings of their soul and their life. Do I truly accept everyone as brothers and sisters? Does the celebration of the Eucharist urge me to go out to the poor, the sick, and the marginalized? Does it help me to recognize in theirs the face of Jesus?
Through the Eucharist, Christ wishes to enter into our lives and permeate us with His grace, so that in every Christian community there may be coherence between liturgy and life. Let us live the Eucharist with the spirit of faith, prayer, forgiveness, repentance, communal joy, concern for the needy and for the needs of so many brothers and sisters, in the certainty that the Lord will fulfil what He has promised us: eternal life.
Response: Teach me your statutes, O Lord.
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