July 25, 2021- 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Living in Christ: From Lack to Abundance”

Homily by Fr. Erel Villanueva

First Reading – 2 Kings 4 : 42 – 44

Second Reading – Ephesians 3 : 20 -4 : 6

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 145 : 10 – 19

Gospel Reading – John 6 : 1 – 12

This Sunday’s Gospel Reading is just a continuation of last week’s topic about our Good Shepherd who is compassionate. In this gospel reading, Jesus continues to show His disciples about compassion in action. Not just feeling sympathy for the misfortune of others but, finding ways to do something about the problem.

Last Sunday He met their spiritual needs. Today, He met the physical needs of these hungry people.

He asked His disciples what they should do it was a test of faith and compassion for them. It did not mean that Jesus did not know what to do, He already knew what to do.

In Mark 6:36 one disciple proposed a first solution – “send them away.” It was a quick fix. Get rid of the problem – No people, No hassle.

Then Phillip also gave his analyzation of the problem: “We need a lot of money to buy bread and it’s hard to raise funds in this situation, it’s a hopeless one.” Then Andrew followed. He found a boy who had five loaves and two fish but did not know what to do about it.

Obviously, the disciples had no solution at all and failed their faith and compassion test. Then it was time for The Good Shepherd to give His solution. He told them to let the people sit down as He received the five loaves and two fish and gave thanks. (Mark 6:41 -received the five loaves and two fish, looked up to heaven, bless/give thanks, broke the loaves gave to the disciples and they gave to the people)

Then a miracle of multiplication happened. They were all filled, with plenty of left overs. This action reminds us of the Eucharist that Jesus will feed us with His word and His body and blood. It teaches us also that to overcome lack in our life, we should give first to God.

We acknowledge that He is the real source by looking up, being thankful instead of complaining, and giving/blessing others. By doing that all you need to do is watch the miracle happen.

This is an expression of our faith – allowing ourselves to become instruments of His compassion by meeting the needs of others, spirit, soul, and body. Only then can we really say from the heart, and not just a mere confession or a slogan, that “we are blessed to be a blessing.”

Recap from Fr. Nonoy Villanueva

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