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Gospel Meditations

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August 3, 2014

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 55: 1-3 Psalm 145 Romans 8: 35, 37-39 Matthew 14: 13-21

 

“There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.”

 

A man came into my office the other day to get some advice on a problem he was having.  As in so many cases, I mostly listened and he discovered his own advice.  One story he told was how he used to play football in the park near his home, and in that he sometimes noticed that some of the boys had it much more difficult than he and his family.  Sometimes he would approach his mother, and they would welcome a boy in for a bath, a new set of clothes and a good home cooked meal.  The family was poor, but they knew how to share so that there was enough for everyone.

 

When the disciples encouraged Jesus to send the people away to find food for themselves; he said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.”  The disciples came back to him and said, “Five loaves and two fish are all that we have.”  The disciples are realistic and uncertain how the little food that they had could be enough for all these crowds.  Five loaves and two fish do not seem like much in front of the need of five thousand and more.  Too often we look at the little that we have and say that it is not enough.  God is not asking us to solve the whole problem, just to “give them some food yourselves.”  It is too easy to look at the enormity of problems and to say it is just too much.  What can I do in front of this problem?

 

Hand in Hand Ministries in Belize builds houses for some of the poorest families who are living in deplorable situations.  They have built over 240 homes over the last number of years, and even that is just beginning to scratch the surface of the need.  One of the stories that they like to tell is about the starfish.  A boy was walking along a beach, bending over and picking up starfish as he went along, throwing them back into the sea.  A man watched him for awhile, and then he came closer to him and asked him what he was doing.  I am throwing these starfish back into the sea so that they can live.  The man insisted, but there are thousands and perhaps millions of those starfish washed up onto the beach, how can you make a difference?  Undeterred the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the sea replying, “It made a difference for that one.”

 

Just a few verses before this story in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus was rejected from his home town of Nazareth.  The lack of faith that he found there meant that the miracle of God unfolding in Jesus was not understood or received in Nazareth.  The opposite is true in today’s gospel passage.  Jesus, having heard of the death of John the Baptist, was trying to retreat in a boat to a deserted area.  The people found out about it and decided to go on foot to where Jesus was going.  Getting out of the boat he saw a large crowd and he cured their sick, and later feed the five thousand families.  The faith of the people provided the context for Jesus to reveal the miracle of God’s Reign breaking into the world.  

 

Pope Francis has been heard to say that he wants a poor church for the poor of the world.  The more that we have the more time it takes us to care for the things that we have.  It is clear from the Gospels that the poor have a privileged place in the Kingdom of God.  Often they are more open to the values of faith in their lives.  As I confront the enormous problems of our times:  gang violence, human trafficking, youth left to their own devises, and unequal distribution of opportunities and the material goods of our world; let my response be a realistic evaluation of the gifts that God has entrusted to me.  I have five loaves and two fish, how can those help?

 

God of abundance and generosity, help us to see the gifts that we have received and be willing to use those gifts for others.  Sometimes we think that what we have will not be enough for our own needs and those of others. The disciples shared the little that they had and gathered twelve baskets of scraps left after everyone was satisfied. Show us that you always give us enough, and more than enough.  Help us to imitate your generosity and believe what your Son told us, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 18:52 Written by Javier Molina Wednesday, 30 July 2014 18:37
 

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION EVANGELII GAUDIUM

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APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION

EVANGELII GAUDIUM

OF THE HOLY FATHER

FRANCIS

TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY,

CONSECRATED PERSONS

AND THE LAY FAITHFUL

ON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL

IN TODAY’S WORLD

PDF FILE HERE

Last Updated on Friday, 29 November 2013 11:11 Written by Javier Molina Friday, 29 November 2013 10:33
 

Bishop's Welcome

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A welcome from Bishop Dbishopwrightorick M. Wright, Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan . . .


Dear Visitors,

Welcome to our diocesan home on the web. We are a vibrant community of Roman Catholic believers, numbering 170,000 throughout this great country of ours, Belize.

We commit ourselves to bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to all we encounter. In it you will find many pages that will introduce you to the varied programs and ministries the Diocese offers as it strives to respond to the spiritual, pastoral, educational and social service needs of the people here in Belize.

Please take a moment to view this website and learn more about the
ministries and services that we have to offer. May God bless you!

Finally, we hope to see you here often!



New Changes to the Mass for the People

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 14:42 Written by Javier Molina Monday, 02 August 2010 14:31
   
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