• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 27 July 2018 19:15

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time - 2018

Written by Fr Larry Nemer SVD

 

Fr Larry Nemer SVD 150In today’s gospel the story of Jesus’ feeding of the thousands that came to hear him preach is a story of a very different kind of miracle. 

In 1975 I was spending some time in the parish in Grenoble (France) where I had lived in the summer of 1961.  On Saturday morning the two priests in the parish would meet with a group of parishioners.  They would read the Sunday Gospel, discuss it, and come to an agreement about the homily that would be preached.  One Saturday morning they read the gospel for today’s Mass.  They highlighted the fact of how different this miracle was from the other miracles that Jesus worked.  It did not come as a request from someone for healing (e.g. the ten lepers), or as a result of a feeling of compassion (e.g. the widow of Naim); it was a spontaneous gesture on the part of Jesus – He wanted to welcome them and be the generous host who offered them a meal.  We do not know if they might not have brought their own food along or not, and Jesus did not ask.  He simply presented them with all the food they might want.  As the group of parishioners pointed out, it was Jesus manifesting the generous hospitality of God.

The gospel text seems to challenge us to do two things: to recognize how wonderfully generous God is to us, and to manifest the same generosity to others so that they might know how generous God is to them.

I was taught about the first challenge by several friends.  I was visiting a very close friend in Baltimore just a month before she died.  She was just 54 years old.  She had a loving husband and nine lovely children.  She had been very active in the parish running the adult education program and the Baptismal program for young mothers.  I spent the afternoon with her since the rest of her family were attending the wedding of one of her daughters.  She had cancer and knew she was dying.  I asked her if she was afraid of dying.  She just laughed and said: Come on, Larry; you know the relationship I have with God.  That afternoon she didn’t talk about the losses she would have in dying so young; instead she talked about how generous God had been in looking after her – the family she grew up in and her closeness to her four sisters, the husband that God gave her; the lovely and loving children they had, the wonderful friends in the parish to whom she was very close.  She really spent the afternoon thanking God for all the wonderful gifts God had given her.  As I was leaving she said: God has been so good to me, Larry.  God was a very loving host to her.

Another friend also helped me look beyond my own needs so that I could see the abundant gifts that God gave me.  I knew her as a young girl when she entered the Convent.  She was a lovely, out-going, happy person with a constant smile on her face.  She was looking forward to being a missionary.  But in her last year of nurses’ training she developed “galloping multiple sclerosis”.  The first year of her disease was very hard on her and we both cried often.  But after ten years, when she was still in her 40s, I visited her a week before she died.  She spent the time telling me how good God had been to her – the love she was always surrounded with, the special calling to be a missionary, the wonderful religious community she was part of.  She felt that God had been very good to her – had shown her a warm hospitality all her life – and she was looking forward to being with Him.  The same smile that she always had was still on her face when I left.

God truly is a wonderful and generous host, always offering us warm hospitality.  However some people can never see this because they have never experienced the warm hospitality of others.  And that is our challenge as Christians.  It is hard for them to believe that God is generous and welcoming if we are not.  When I first came to Melbourne a friend of mine who worked at Sacred heart Mission in St. Kilda showed me around the mission and the neighbourhood.  I could not believe it when she said that the Mission served 400 sit-down lunches every day to the street people.  Most of the food was donated and there was an abundance of volunteers to prepare and serve the food.  Jesus would have been so happy with that kind of hospitality.  Many of my friends work in soup kitchens (still in their 80s!) because they feel that they are extending the hospitality of God.  This is our challenge.

Last modified on Friday, 27 July 2018 19:28