Listed below last week's homily are copies of Father Alex Ekka's homily from past weekend masses. Click on the file to download and read his message.
An elderly couple walk into a fast food restaurant. They order one hamburger, one order of fries and one drink.
The old man unwraps the plain hamburger and carefully cuts it in half. He places one half in front of his wife. He then carefully counts out the fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placing one pile in front of his wife. He takes a sip of the drink; his wife takes a sip and then sets the cup down between them. As he begins to eat his few bites of hamburger.
The people around them whispered “That poor old couple - all they can afford is one meal for the two of them."
Someone politely offers to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man replies “we are just fine – we are just used to sharing everything.”
In the meantime, people notice that man continues to have bit of his burger while the old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She sits there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.
Again someone comes with an offer to buy another meal for them. This time the old woman says "No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything."
As the old man finishes and was wipes his face neatly with the napkin. Someone comes again to the old lady who has not started her bite of burger and asks, "May I ask what it is you are waiting for?"
The old woman answers... "THE TEETH."
Today’s Gospel also speaks about sharing – not everything and certainly not the teeth but the food. Jesus is saying all of us today “YOU give them something to eat
In the first reading from Isiah we see how God shares his caring love and concern by inviting the Israelites to a free meal. “All you who are thirsty come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain, and eat. Come, without paying and without cost drink wine and milk!” Here the grace of God is compared to freely given food and drink. The people are promised abundance of water, grain, milk, wine and bread and a renewal of God's covenant. And it is all free. They do not have to pay.
Today’s gospel tells a similar story of sharing. The small boy shared his small lunch for others. This sharing or offering became an instrument of a miracle in the hand of Jesus. The miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 is the only miracle after the miracle of resurrection which is found in all four gospels, although the context and emphasis varies.
As we heard this story tells Jesus had compassion on all who came to him. Here is a large crowd of people who have searched after Jesus and found him in some deserted place. The hungry crowd is large, and it is late. How to feed them. It will require lots of money to buy food for such a big crowd. they are hungry. So, how to solve the problem? The disciples suggested an easy solution to the problems of feeding so many people. They suggested, “Send these people off to town. Let them get their own food.”
Of course, being Son of God, Jesus could have solved the problem without any help from anybody. But he prefers to engage his disciples in solving the problem. So, he says, “YOU give them something to eat”. At this juncture, we see the entry of the small boy with a small lunch. We do not know why only he had the food and not others. We do not know if he was alone by himself or with his Mom or any other family member. The Gospel writer is not concerned with these details. He is concerned with the generosity of this small kid who was willing to share his small lunch with others when asked by the disciples. He may not have the least idea that his small lunch would be enough to feed the large crowd through the hands of the Master. And that is what happens.
The miracle of multiplication of loaves is not a long-ago-and-far-away, once in lifetime story. The miracles continue to happen. Miracles happen when you contribute your time talent and resources to your parish. They happen daily around us through our small act of kindness.
And most importantly this miracle happens at each Mass when using our humble offerings of bread and wine Jesus miraculously turns them into his own body and blood to feed the millions all over the world each day. Come and be part of this awesome miracle more often during Mass as well as during adoration hours when we begin in September.
Today also there is no shortage of hungry people all over the world, some are hungry for food others for love and care. And God could wipe away all kind of hunger of the world by his power. But he wants us to be his instruments in spreading his message love, care, and compassion. He is telling each one of us,
“YOU give them something to eat.” Will you?