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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 17th (B) in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (2Kgs 4:42-44): A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing to Elisha, the man of God, twenty barley loaves made from the first fruits, and fresh grain in the ear. Elisha said, «Give it to the people to eat». But his servant objected, «How can I set this before a hundred people?». Elisha insisted, «Give it to the people to eat». «For thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over’». And when they had eaten, there was some left over, as the Lord had said.
Responsorial Psalm: 144
R/. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
Let all your works give you thanks, o Lord, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might.

The eyes of all look hopefully to you, and you give them their food in due season; you open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

The Lord is just in all his ways and holy in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.
2nd Reading (Eph 4:1-6): Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Versicle before the Gospel (Lk 7:16): Alleluia. A great prophet has risen in our midst. God has visited his people. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Jn 6,1-15): Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, near Tiberias, and large crowds followed him because of the miraculous signs they saw when He healed the sick. So He went up into the hills and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Then lifting up his eyes, Jesus saw the crowds that were coming to him and said to Philip, «Where shall we buy bread so that these people may eat?». He said this to test Philip, for He himself knew what He was going to do. Philip answered him, «Two hundred silver coins would not buy enough bread for each of them to have a piece». Then one of Jesus' disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said, «There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?».

Jesus said, «Make the people sit down». There was plenty of grass there so the people, about five thousand men, sat down to rest. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks and distributed them to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish and gave them as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten enough, he told his disciples, «Gather up the pieces left over, that nothing may be lost». So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with bread, that is with pieces of the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.

When the people saw this sign that Jesus had just given, they said, «This is really the Prophet, he who is to come into the world». Jesus realized that they would come and take him by force to make him king; so He fled to the hills by himself.

«Large crowds followed»

Fr. Pere CALMELL i Turet (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we can contemplate how both human and supernatural love can be forged in us, given that we use the same heart to love both man and God.

Generally speaking love starts to grow in the human heart with the progressive discovery of that which is attractive in the other person: their friendliness, their goodness. This is the case with the «boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish» (Jn 6:9). He gives Jesus all that he has got with him, the bread and the fish, because he has let himself be won over by the attractiveness of Jesus. —Have I discovered the attractiveness of the Lord?

The next step is falling in love, the consequence of feeling a response. «Large crowds followed him because of the miraculous signs they saw when He healed the sick» (Jn 6:2). Jesus listened to them; He paid attention to them because He knew what they needed.

Jesus Christ finds an attraction in me and desires that I fulfill myself both humanly and supernaturally. He loves me as I am, in all my smallness, because I ask for forgiveness and , with his help, I continue trying.

«Jesus realized that they would come and take him by force to make him king; so He fled to the hills by himself» (Jn 6:26). He will say to them the next day: «In truth I say to you: you seek me not because you have seen signs, rather because you have eaten of the bread and you have been satiated» (Jn 6:26). Saint Augustine writes: «Many are those who look for Jesus are guided solely by worldly interests! (…) Rarely do they seek Jesus for Jesus».

The fullness of love is love that gives of itself; when you look for the good of a loved one without expecting anything in return, even when it entails personal sacrifice.

Today, I can say: «Lord, You who lets us participate in the miracle of the Eucharist: I ask you not to hide, that you live with us, that we may see you, that we may touch you, that we may feel you, that we may be always at your side, that you be the King of our lives and of our work» (Saint Josemaría).

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