August 3, 2014 – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is 55: 1-3; Ps 145: 8-9, 15-18; Rom 8: 35, 37-39; Mt 14: 13-21
Because it is a way of life, stewardship can be found in our readings at every Mass. On this Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, that is certainly the case. Our Gospel reading from Matthew is particularly rich in that respect.
All through the readings for this Sunday runs the theme of the Eucharist, Jesus’ enormous gift to us. The story of Jesus feeding the multitude is rightfully considered a “miracle,” but its strong stewardship message is way beyond the sharing demonstrated and stewardship example it provides. There is a much more subtle stewardship message to each of us to be found in this Gospel.
St. Matthew’s Gospel points out that the first thing the Lord did was to raise His eyes to Heaven and say the blessing. This prayer is a way of thanking God for His beneficence. It is the stewardship reminder that we need to thank God for our blessings. The disciples express concern that all these people must eat, and they cannot conceive of how they can feed them. Jesus’ response shows complete trust in God. Stewardship calls us to also put our trust in the Lord.
Finally, when they were all fed and satisfied, they gathered what was left so that it could be shared with others. This is a gentle sign to us that stewardship involves not wasting our gifts. Those three hints provide us with three key stewardship words: gratitude, trust, and responsibility.