July 31, 2011
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time A
By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ
All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy? Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare. Isaiah 55:1-2
I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
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 14:19-20
The invitation to satisfy our thirst for the Lord is the everlasting covenant that the Lord assured to David. God is forever in his love for us. Piety is the use of our freedom in accepting the love of God. The only limit in God’s love for us is our acceptance. The cry of unworthiness is unacceptable since God is forever waiting for us to come to him in the moment we are living. The invitation goes on and on without our having to pay for what God has ready for those who love his son Christ. The only limit on God’s love for us is our acceptance. We pass up wine and milk of God’s love because we are too satisfied with what we already have. Our spirituality teaches us how to be open to God’s love for us in his son.
Nothing can separate us from the love of the Lord if we are willing to accept forgiveness for our selfishness. It is only the being trapped in selfishness that keeps us from the love of the Lord. We have to be willing to lose our lives for the sake of the Lord if we want to keep our lives. It is what we do for others in our selflessness that fills us with the love of the Lord. We have to learn how to empty ourselves out to find ourselves. What we do not like about ourselves we have to offer to the forgiveness of the embrace of Christ from the cross where he takes to himself in his dying for us whatever we have done wrong. Our transgressions that keep us from the Lord are remade into something special when they are turned over to the dying of Christ for our mistakes. Only our emptiness is big enough for the Lord. Anguish, distress, persecutions, famine, nakedness perils or the sword cannot keep the love of the Lord away. Our love for the cross of Christ opens us up to the fullness of God’s love for us.
The miracle of the loaves and the fishes teaches us how to allow God to do the impossible in our lives. In our weaknesses that we turn over to Christ we find the strength of Christ. We need to rejoice in the grace of our inadequacy that we might reflect the strength of the Lord to our world. Christ leaves leftovers in the offering of more food than the people can eat. We need to embrace our inadequacy so that the strength of the Lord shines out on our world when we are doing in his name more than we could ever do by ourselves. My favorite aspiration is simply this. “Lord, make up the difference. May they put on our grave stones that we left too much to the Lord to do in what we do in his name. May there be constant multiplications of what we do in the presence of the Lord in all we do in his name. Attempting the impossible gives the Lord space to work in our lives. Nothing is impossible to our Lord.