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Sermon for July 31st

July 31, 2011

Today’s Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21 from the Latin Vulgate and the Scriptures we use in English.

 

“14:13 quod cum audisset Iesus secessit inde in navicula in locum

 desertum seorsum et cum audissent turbae secutae sunt eum

 pedestres de civitatibus

14:14 et exiens vidit turbam multam et misertus est eius et

 curavit languidos eorum

14:15 vespere autem facto accesserunt ad eum discipuli eius

 dicentes desertus est locus et hora iam praeteriit dimitte

 turbas ut euntes in castella emant sibi escas

14:16 Iesus autem dixit eis non habent necesse ire date illis

 vos manducare

14:17 responderunt ei non habemus hic nisi quinque panes et duos pisces

 

14:18 qui ait eis adferte illos mihi huc

14:19 et cum iussisset turbam discumbere supra faenum acceptis

 quinque panibus et duobus piscibus aspiciens in caelum

 benedixit et fregit et dedit discipulis panes discipuli autem

 turbis

14:20 et manducaverunt omnes et saturati sunt et tulerunt

 reliquias duodecim cofinos fragmentorum plenos

14:21 manducantium autem fuit numerus quinque milia virorum

 exceptis mulieribus et parvulis”

 

“When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
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.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.”

 

 

This Gospel passage is one of many that which describes the Holy Eucharist and the soon to be new roles of the Apostles by giving Our Lord’s body and blood to the congregation.

 

This is a prefigurement of what is to come.  Just look how Jesus takes the bread and the fish; blesses it and then gives it and it fills twelve large wicker baskets; He did not say to the people share but He; who is God; multiplied the loaves and fishes so everyone will have their fill.  If we deny that He multiplied the loaves and fishes from a divine origin; then we have stripped the divinity of Jesus and then we have become a heretic of old; that the Early Church Fathers had to fight to defend the faith from.

 

In the early days of the Church; a picture of a fish was a sign of being a Christian and it also represents Christ.  The bread will become at the Last Supper or the first Holy Mass as His body that will be given up for all of us and His blood which we drink at Mass; is shed for the forgiveness of sins. 

 

In John’s Gospel when Jesus fed the thousands with bread and fish; they searched for Him because they were still hungry and wanted to make Him a bread king; but He told them that He is the Bread of Life and whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall have life in him.

 

When the five thousand men plus women and children had eaten their fill; they was not hungry at that moment but when they were hungry again, they would seek out Jesus because He gave them food to eat until they were full; He also does that with us; gives us all the physical food we need but we still get hungry don’t we? 

 

John 6:25-27:  “And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

 

Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.

 

Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, 15 which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”

 

This is what Jesus said to the crowd when they found Him on the other side of the lake.  He says this to us as well.  When we are filled by Jesus with physical food; we rather follow Him for that than because of the great sign and miracle He did multiplying these loaves and fishes; or whatever it maybe that day. 

 

It is also a sign of love; but no human sign of love; but Divine or Agape love.  The love God has for us each personally by giving us His Only Begotten Son to die for us on the cross freely.  I could remember the stories of Padre Pio at Mass and how it took three hours each time he celebrated theMass.  Why three hours?  Because Jesus’ Passion was three hours and He died at three p.m. or Mercy Hour.  When we are at Holy Mass; it is the representation of Jesus being on the Cross and we are taken back toCalvaryeach time we are at Mass and witnessing the death of Our Lord.

 

When a priest rushes through the Mass and changes the words that are not to be changed or uses his own words; it makes me sad; because they have taken away the great mystery of being at Calvary and replaced it with something that is not theMass.  It is no meal or party but a Sacrifice we go to; if it was a meal or party we would have a normal table but we have an altar for the One True Sacrifice that Jesus did on Calvary to free us from sin and death; yet we are humans with fallen nature and we fall into sin by saying yes to the temptations and no to the help God sends to us.  With our holy faith that God has given to us as a free gift; why do we still denounce it for the pleasures of the devil rather than the pleasures of Heaven?

 

With all that God has revealed to us in His Church; why do we run off to practice different forms of the Occult and practice their prayers: “centering prayer” and other forms of Occult Practice?  Why do we wear charms on our wrist or crystals as necklaces or dream catchers as ear rings or around our neck?  Yet, we still call ourselves Catholic Christians.

 

Why do people tend to lie to God and have as their mindset that their sins are not sins; like looking at sexual images on the computer, or sexual movies on the computer, fooling around with another woman or man or dabbling in the Occult and still think they are able to receive Our Lord’s body and blood worthily?  What does theApostle St.Paul say about this:

 

He said one must examine themselves before eating and drinking of the Lord or they will be eating and drinking the Judgment of the Lord.  He also says this:

 

  1. Corinthians 10: 16-21

 

“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

 

Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

 

Look atIsraelaccording to the flesh; are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?

 

So what am I saying? That meat sacrificed to idols is anything? Or that an idol is anything?

 

No, I mean that what they sacrifice, (they sacrifice) to demons, 8 not to God, and I do not want you to become participants with demons.

 

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.”

 

 It is the same as Jesus saying: “You can not serve God and mammon.” We must chose who we are to serve; we either serve God by staying out of sin but if we do sin; we get up and get cleansed in the Confessional or we become slaves of the devil by sinning and never confessing it: “He who commits sin is of the devil.” 

 

As we look back at today’s Gospel reading and why the people wanted to make Jesus a bread king; not because they have saw a divine sign or miracle but because they ate bread without working for it and He tells us to do the Will of the Father as our work and not follow the world.  These people who were fed wanted to serve the world because they received all that food and it filled them and satisfied their desire and needs as a human well for a short time; but Jesus told them to come and eat and drink of the Son of Man so we shall be nourished for all eternity with the Bread of Life.

 

Amen.  

 

 

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