July 29, 2018 — Seventeenth Sunday In Ordinary Time
Today’s Gospel reading recounts Jesus’ miracle of feeding the multitude. In a miracle that anticipated Jesus’ miracle of feeding the multitude, as reported in today’s Gospel, Elisha commanded that a small amount of bread be served to 100 men, and Jesus promised that all would indeed be fed. Elisha trusted that promise, acted upon it, and saw the promise miraculously fulfilled. We, like most people, tend to forget the miracles our Lord can work in everyday life. If we trust in God and live as good stewards, what we accomplish is, in its own way, a miracle.
St. Paul beautifully sums up how our approach to living as Catholics and Christians should be. In today’s Second Reading from his letter to the Ephesians, Paul urges us to live “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit.” Does that describe our parish community?
This cannot happen unless we have the same kind of trust that Elisha had, and which St. Paul had, as well. Paul also says in today’s Second Reading, “I urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received.” This is stewardship at its core. We should not give of our time, talent and treasure because we want to earn God’s love. He already loves us unconditionally.
Jesus knew full well what miracle He was about to perform, but He also saw this as a chance to teach His Apostles, and also show us the way. Philip and the others had already seen Jesus perform many miracles, and there should have been no question in his mind about the divine resources Jesus had at His disposal. Yet Philip hesitated. It is human nature to be doubtful. Yet, as with Elisha, they all ate, and there was much left over. Through this miracle, Jesus is teaching us to trust Him and to do the same in our lives. And, by committing ourselves to a stewardship way of life, we can see our own gifts multiplied. And perhaps even perform our own modern-day miracles.
Copyright © 2018 — Catholic Stewardship Consultants, Inc.