July 25, 2021 - 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“God is in his holy place
God who unites those who dwell in his house,
he himself gives might and strength to his people.”
Psalm 68 (67):6-7, 36
2 Kings 4:42-44
by Sister Judith Bloxham, OSB
It is interesting to note in the first reading from the Book of Kings, that Elisha’s word to his servant echoes Jesus’ word to the apostles, instructing them to feed a multitude with the small amount of food that they had with them. And in both incidents, there was food left over.
In St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, there was not mention of food for the people, but rather, a way of life for others that is demonstrated through humility, gentleness, patience and bearing with one another in love. He encourages us to live out the conviction that we have been called to “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all.”
In the Gospel for today, Jesus again looks with compassion on the multitude of people gathered to see and listen to him. He tested his disciple, Philip, by asking him where they could get enough food to feed these people. It is interesting that Andrew points out there is a boy with five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus gives thanks for the offering of food and he distributes all the food. And even more interesting, he instructs his disciples to gather up the leftover fragments filling twelve baskets. The twelve apostles were given the Bread from Heaven for all humanity. And, down through the centuries, the Church has been feeding the people of God through the Eucharist. We all are bestowed with the “leftovers” of God’s Life and Grace. May we all find ways to be God’s instruments of grace for others.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“These people fear the Lord, and do not become elated over their good deeds; they judge it is the Lord’s power, not their own, that brings about the good in them. They praise the Lord working in them, and say with the Prophet: Not to us, Lord, not to us give the glory, but to your name alone.” And, “Prefer nothing whatever to the love of Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.” Prologue 29-30; Chapter 71:11-12
“A great prophet has risen in our midst, God has visited his people.”