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AUGUST 2. Ord Time B. Wk 18. Mon. Mt 14. 13-21

When Jesus received the news of John the Baptist’s death he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the people heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So, as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.


When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place, and the time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.’ But they answered ‘All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.’ ‘Bring them here to me’ he said. He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves handed them to his disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps remaining; twelve baskets full. Those who ate numbered about five thousand men, to say nothing of women and children.


In the Gospels there are a good deal of teachings about food with Christ even callings himself “the bread of life”, but there is critical important aspect of food and eating we rarely consider, or give much thought to, and that is “we become what we eat!”


Far from “overlooking” this simple truth, I believe Christ was not only aware of it, but he was trying to emphasise it to his followers; - by both his words and actions; - feeding thousands on two separate occasions!


And there is a related issue that Christ would also have been aware of, and that is there is a good deal of food we should not eat; - either because we do not like it; - or because it can be harmful to us.


By coincidence, in today’s first reading we have the Israelites complaining about the food that they had been provided with in the desert; - the manna given to them by their God! They wanted the food they had had in Egypt, because it was nicer tasting!


And do many of us not continue this approach to the food we eat; - preferring food we like; - and even food we know to be harmful; - to food we know is good for us?


Today’s Gospel is clearly a leadup to the approaching teaching about the Holy Eucharist and Christ’s desire his people not only consume it; - but more importantly; - they believe what he was about to teach them; - in that it was his body and blood!


This was an “out of this world” teaching that would require an enormous amount of faith, which is why it needed to be accompanied by actions that demonstrated Christ had the ability to do what he was about to proclaim.


The message for us today is; - in receiving the Eucharist; - we need to be aware we “become what we eat”; - and if we want the Sacrament of God’s Love to nourish; - and become one with us; - we have to turn away from “foods” and “actions” we know to be harmful!


I am the bread of life! - Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. - This is the bread that comes down from heaven; - so that one may eat of it; - and not die!”


Gospel Acclamation Mt4:4


Alleluia, alleluia!

No one lives on bread alone,

but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Alleluia!




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