18th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A
Nothing can come between us and the love of Christ!
Draw near to your servants, O Lord,
and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness,
that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide,
you may restore what you have created
and keep safe what you have restored.
In today’s readings, we celebrate the great love of God, who not only gives us life, but desires to sustain and nourish us generously too.
In the First Reading, it is God himself who urgently pleads with his troubled, scattered people to listen. Through his prophet, he issues an invitation to a sacred meal. God offers ‘water’ for thirsty souls; ‘corn, wine and milk’ will also be made freely available for hungry hearts, without charge.
In the Psalm, one traditionally sung at meals, we praise the God who cares for all his creatures, supplying them with nourishment.
Paul writes in very stirring language, assuring us of the ever-present love and power of Jesus Christ. Divine love gives us grace and encouragement to live life to the fullest, even with and through the unavoidable trials and sufferings of life. This is the Christian gospel, the Good News! (Second Reading)
Even whilst stricken with grief, Jesus’s response to the people is one of compassion (Gospel). He heals the sick and feeds the hungry, and there is still plenty of food left over to share. Jesus feeds the crowd in a way that foresees the food and drink he will offer us in the Eucharist.
Let’s pray this week for courage to take the risk of really hearing what God is saying to us; what sacred nourishment he is freely offering us.
May we put ourselves into his hands, asking that he will deepen his life in us and in our anxious, unjust world.