HOMILY: 18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2020
An old man goes to a local diner every day for lunch. He always orders the soup of the day. The serving goes with a bowl of soup and two slices of bread. When the old paid for his bill, he requested if they can add more slices of bread. So the following day, he got a bowl of soup with four slices of bread. The manager asked him, how was your meal, the old man said, it was really good but can you add more slices of bread for next time. As he paid the bill, he once again requested to add more slices of bread so the following day, he got one loaf of bread with a bowl of soup. The manager is now obsessed seeing this customer says that he is satisfied with his meal. So he goes to the bakery, and orders a six foot long loaf of bread. When the elderly man comes in as usual the next day, the waitress and the manager cut the loaf in half, butter the entire length of each half, and lay it along the counter, right next to his bowl of soup. The old man sits down, devours both his bowl of soup and both halves of the six-foot-long loaf of bread. The manager now thinks he will get the answer he is looking for. So when the old man comes up to pay for his meal, the manager asks “How was your meal TODAY, sir?” The old man replies: “Oh, it was good as usual, but I see you are back to giving only two slices of bread.”
We are now on the 18th Sunday in Ordinary time. The readings that we have for this Sunday are inviting us to reflect on the meaning of the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist manifests God’s compassion for us. The gospel which is taken from the book of Matthew speaks to us about the multiplication of fives loaves of bread and two fish that fed a large crowd. When Jesus saw the crowd, His heart was moved with great compassion. They were hungry about God. This is the very reason why people flock towards Jesus. Compassion is unselfish action. Jesus instructed His disciples to give something to eat. He placed the needs of others before their own needs. Unlike the mindset of the disciples, they were thinking first about their provisions before attending the needs of the crowd. It’s been a while since we have this food bank drive in our parishes. The very idea of this activity is actually in accordance to the spirit of the gospel. We give because we want the needy to have something to eat. It is an opportunity for us to became Eucharist and compassionate. It is Eucharist because it is a way of expressing our gratitude to God. Eucharist is gratitude in action. I think our food bank campaign should be driven by sympathy and not by superfluity. I want to give because I feel their suffering not because I have plenty.
The Holy Eucharist is the source of life. Prophet Isaiah said “why do you spend your money come to what fails to satisfy?” Don’t you know that the more we eat, the more we desire to eat? The more you observe Eucharistic fasting, the more you will take delight Jesus by receiving Holy Communion. Eucharistic fasting tells us that the Holy Eucharist is more satisfying than fried chicken and hamburger. Too much food is not healthy at all. Eucharist is eating less but receiving the source of life Himself who is Jesus Christ.
The Holy Eucharist is the fruit of Jesus perfect love. Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans declares, who will separate from love of Christ? Is it persecution or famine? It reminds us that Jesus Christ died on the cross so that He can give Himself in the form of bread and wine so that He will always with us and we are always in Him. No amount of forces of evil can take Jesus away from us. His Eucharistic presence is love and makes us love. Saint Augustine said once in his mass, “be what you eat”. Let the Holy Eucharist make us like Jesus to be conquerors by giving ourselves to others.