Friday, July 29, 2011

Homily for the 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time

“The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.” Last week in my homily I made a mention of a mug that I have over in my collection that says, “God answers all prayers, sometimes He says yes, sometimes he says no, and sometimes He says you got to be kidding me.” God does answer all our prayers, perhaps in ways we humanly don’t agree with but He indeed answers them. We must also remember that God answers all prayers according to His time which is not bound by our own. The Lord is not bound by minutes, hours, days, months or even years. Our Lord answers them when He wills, and when He does many times He gives us what we need not necessarily what we want.

In the very first part of the responsorial psalm, it says the hand of the Lord feeds us. Today the Lord’s hands continue to feed His people. We mustn’t forget that we are the Lords hands and feet. As the cantor sung in the alleluia verse, “one does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” It is important and necessary for us to be here to receive the words of life that comes from God. The words that you hear today are not the lector’s words, they are not my words, but they are His words. These are the words of everlasting life and have the power to transform not only our lives but also the lives of others. As the Lords hands and feet these are the words we are called to share.

One mustn’t forget that we are called to share the message that we receive. The word of God cannot be chained. Although there are forces in the world that are trying their best to do just that…it is impossible. There is no taming the word of God for there is no force in world powerful enough to contain it! How do we get the word of God out there into a world that is trying so to keep the message from being spread? Think about the old saying, if there is a will, there is a way! There are plenty of opportunities out there for us to share our faith. It doesn’t always have to entail the use of words. We can spread the Gospel through our actions. The little things we do can go a long way.

Our Gospel tells the account of the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. In the account when it was evening it says the disciples approached him saying, “This is a deserted place and it’s already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food themselves.” Jesus responded, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” Looking out into the world there are many people who are looking for the life giving word, who are missing out because not only is our culture doing all it can to drown it out, but also because many good people are remaining silent. What we have brothers and sisters is so special one would be foolish to keep it to themselves. In order for the treasure that we have to multiply it needs to be shared. There are many people out there who are looking to be fed and using the Lord’s words I challenge you to “give them some food yourselves.” God has given us all special gifts and we are called to use them for one purpose and that is to build up God’s kingdom right now.

Yes, indeed God has given each our own special gifts. Many times we don’t know how to use them. For some they don’t know how to use them because they spend all their time desiring the gifts of another that they don’t cultivate their own gift. Spending our time desiring another’s gift in a way belittles the ones God has given us. Use the gifts God has given you! As we mentioned a few moments ago we need to find ways to get this great message out there. Remember God has given us a gift, use them! God has given perhaps some of you the ability to write, use your words to spread the Gospel. It doesn’t have to be a work based on scripture, but can be something that promotes our Christian values in everyday life. Our Lord has given some the gift of being able to sing and write music. Sing your hearts out, and drown out some of that modern junk that’s out there. Believe me, lyrics to a song carries a lot of weight. Parents should be cautious to what their kids listen too. From my personal experience often times when driving I flip through the radio stations in order to find something to keep me awake, and as I do I’m horrified by some of things that I am hearing.

Perhaps we can’t sing or write but as we look around at each other we can see a diverse congregation with individuals who have many other gifts and talents. These gifts can be as simple as ones personality. How we approach and treat people can make a big difference. Something as simple as a smile can go a long way. Today the Lord says to each one of us, “Give them some food yourselves. May we spend our time this week reflecting on the gifts and talents the Lord bestowed upon us! Then after spending some time getting to know those gifts may we put them to work doing as the Lord calls feeding our brothers and sisters with His words which are the words of everlasting life.