Missionary Weekly Reflection
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2 August 2020
The Feast of St. Peter Faber
Isa. 55:1-3; Ps. 145:8-9,15-16,17-18; Rom. 8:35,37-39; Matt. 14:13-21
John the Baptist had just been executed by King Herod. Jesus had to withdraw to a solitary place. He had often become a refugee, because of the religious and political leaders. When he was a baby, he had to flee because his life was endangered by the authorities (Matt. 2:14, 22). When he began to work, Jesus also had to evacuate several times (Matt. 4:12; 12:15; 15:21). However, being a refugee does not mean not caring and stopping empathizing. The violence of the rulers who wanted His death opened an opportunity for Lord to share His life and blessings.
Even as an Refugee, Jesus was still attractive the crowd. People continued to look for Him, despite they had to walk across the other side. After landing, the Refugee was welcomed by a sea of people. This was the “floating mass” of the first century in Palestine, who had a simple life, was colonized by Rome and blackmailed by their own rulers. The Lord saw their suffering and His heart was moved by compassion. The two most decisive first steps: the eyes that saw and the heart that was moved by mercy! He immediately healed those who were sick. How often that you and I just watch, without being moved! Only hear, no action, in front of the suffering and inferiority of others.
The refugees are usually accommodated and given food by others. But this Refugee was different: He was the one who “opened a public kitchen” and fed thousands of people. In front of the hunger and thirst, Lord’s solution was clear: it’s not necessary to send them away, but feed them, now and here! His proposal clearly contradicted the solutions of His disciples: they wanted Jesus to tell the masses to go and buy their own food in the villages.
His disciples were realistic: it is impossible to feed thousands of people. Their solution is typical of a market economy: buy on your own, eat by yourself! It was at this point that Jesus converted them. The mindset and mentality had to be changed: Why should they always buy on their own, if we can share? Why only focus on the extraordinary lack of food, and forget one or two of what we have? Jesus invited them to think the other way from what they had: five loaves and two fish. Our capital and abilities, no matter how small they are, are always perfect number for God, which He changes to bring transformations and abundant blessings. Besides multiplying bread and fish, Jesus also changed the hearts of His disciples!
The Lord does not work alone. He involves His disciples: they are the ones who have to feed the people, it is their bread and fish that He prays for, and through their hands He distributes food. The Lord always involves us. He assigns as well as enables. Together with Him, whatever we make is always a miracle. Five loaves are just enough for five thousand people. No need for a big and colossal miracle. Simple thing and action are enough. Even our inferiority can be changed into superiority. There is always surplus of 12 abundant baskets of loaves, which will continue to fill the 12 tribes of Israel, all of God’s people, now and forever.
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Prosperity in the maritime: May all people who work and live from the sea, sailors, fishermen and their families, and officers who guard the sea, always be blessed with safety and prosperity. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Harmony for the nation: As a real action in establishing the togetherness and harmony of the nation, may the Church open itself to the culture and want to promote the variety of local arts activities. We pray…
We entrust our efforts in the state to realize the justice for every citizen. We pray…