The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev. 13:8
Your lamb shall be without blemish…. and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses. wherein they shall eat it…. and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. Exo. 12:5-7, 13
The blood of sprinkling. Heb. 12:24
Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. I Cor. 5:7
Being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. Acts 2:23
According to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. II Tim. 1:9
We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. Eph. 1:7
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. I Pet. 4:1, 2
I have trodden the winepress alone. Isa. 63:3
Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Exo. 15:11
He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. Isa. 59:16
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree. I Pet. 2:24
Being made a curse for us. Gal. 3:13
O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. Psa. 98:1
Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Col. 2:15
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Isa. 53:11
O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength. Judg. 5:21
We are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Rom. 8:37
They overcame … by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. Rev. 12:11
August 2, 2020
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Readings for Today
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over—twelve wicker baskets full. Matthew 14:19b-20
Do you ever feel as though you have little to offer? Or that you cannot make an impact in this world? At times, we may all dream of being someone “important” with great influence so as to do “great things.” But the fact of the matter is that you can do great things with the “little” you have to offer.
Today’s Gospel passage reveals that God was able to take something very small, five loaves of bread and two fish, and transform them into enough food to feed tens of thousands of people (“Five thousand men, not counting women and children.” Matthew 14:21)
This story is not only a miracle for the purpose of providing the necessary food for the crowd who came to listen to Jesus in a deserted place, it’s also a sign to us of the power of God to transform our daily offerings into exponential blessings for the world.
Our goal must not be to determine what we want God to do with our offering; rather, our goal must be to make the offering of all we are and all we have and leave the transformation to God. Sometimes our offering may seem small. It may seem like what we offer will have no benefit. For example, making an offering to God of our mundane daily chores or the like may seem unfruitful. What can God do with this? The same question could have been asked by those with the loaves and fishes. But look what Jesus did with them!
We must daily trust that everything we offer to God, whether it appears to be great or small, will be used by God in an exponential way. Though we may not see the good fruits like those in this story did, we can be certain that the good fruit will be abundant.
Reflect, today, upon every small offering you can make. Small sacrifices, small acts of love, acts of forgiveness, small acts of service, etc., have immeasurable value. Make the offering today and leave the rest to God.
Lord, I give to You my day and every small action of this day. I give You my love, my service, my work, my thoughts, my frustrations and everything else I encounter. Please take these small offerings and transform them into grace for Your glory. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saints of the Day –
Source of content: mycatholic.life
GOSPEL READING: Matthew 14:13-21
13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Meditation: What can truly satisfy our deepest hunger and longing? Wherever Jesus went multitudes of people gathered to meet him – people from every part of society – rich and poor, professionals and laborers, even social outcasts and pagans. What drew them to Jesus? Were they simply curious or looking for a healing? Many were drawn to Jesus because they were hungry for God. Jesus’ message of God’s kingdom and the signs and wonders he performed stirred fresh hope and expectation that God was acting in a new and powerful way to set people free from sin and oppression and to bring them the blessings of his kingdom.
God never rests in caring for our needs
Jesus never disappointed those who earnestly sought him out. We see a marvelous example of this when Jesus and his twelve disciples got into the boat to seek out a lonely place for some rest along the lake of Galilee, only to discover a crowd of a few thousand people had already gathered in anticipation of their arrival! Did Jesus’ disciples resent this intrusion on their plan to rest awhile? Jesus certainly didn’t – he welcomed them with open-arms. His compassion showed the depths of God’s love and care for his people. Jesus spoke the word of God to strengthen them in faith and he healed many who were sick.
God multiplies the little we have to bring great blessing to others
As evening approached the disciples wanted Jesus to send the people away. Jesus, instead, commanded his disciples to feed the whole crowd. Why did Jesus expect his disciples to do what seemed impossible – to feed such a large and hungry crowd when there was no adequate provision in sight? Jesus very likely wanted to test their faith and to give them a sign of God’s divine intervention and favor for his people. Jesus took the little they had – five loaves and two fish – and giving thanks to his heavenly Father, distributed to all until they were satisfied of their hunger. Twelves baskets full of fish and loaves that were leftover show the overflowing generosity of God’s gifts to us – gifts that bring blessing, healing, strength, and refreshment.
Bread from heaven to sustain us on our journey
Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospel accounts (Luke 9:10-17, Mark 6:34-44, John 6:51-58, Matthew 14:13-21). What is the significance of this miracle? The miraculous feeding of such a great multitude recalled the miraculous provision of manna in the wilderness under Moses’ leadership and intercession for his people (Exodus 16). The daily provision of food for the people of Israel during their forty years of journeying in the barren wilderness foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would pass on to his disciples at his last supper meal on the eve of his sacrifice on the cross.
Jesus makes a claim which only God can make: He is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy the deepest hunger we experience (John 6:32-35). The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, when Jesus said the blessing, broke and distributed the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, is a sign that prefigures the superabundance of the unique bread of the Eucharist, or Lord’s Supper which sustains us on our journey to the kingdom of heaven.
God multiplies the little we have so we can bring his blessing to others
The feeding of the five thousand shows the remarkable generosity of God and his great kindness towards us. When God gives, he gives abundantly. He gives more than we need for ourselves that we may have something to share with others, especially those who lack what they need. God takes the little we have and multiplies it for the good of others. Do you trust in God’s provision for you and do you share freely with others, especially those who lack?
8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.
15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand, you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.
18 The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: The Lord fills all things with blessing from above, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
“So that by every means the Lord might be known to be God by nature, he multiplies what is little, and he looks up to heaven as though asking for the blessing from above. Now he does this out of the divine economy, for our sake. For he himself is the one who fills all things, the true blessing from above and from the Father. But, so that we might learn that when we are in charge of the table and are preparing to break the loaves, we ought to bring them to God with hands upraised and bring down upon them the blessing from above, he became for us the beginning and pattern and way.” (excerpt from FRAGMENT 177)