Catholic homily for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Theme: GOD HAS SOLUTION TO OUR EVERY PROBLEM!
By: Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara
Homily for Sunday July 25 2021
(2KGS 4:42-44; EPH 4:1-6; JN. 6:1-15)
A Five-year old, accompanied his grandmother to a local grocery store. Grandma spent a lot of money on her purchases, and the salesman was happy with his sales. Thus, he opened a tin of peanuts(groundnuts) and said to the little boy “Here, son, take some nuts!” the boy was quiet and declined to take the peanuts. “Go ahead!” said the salesman again and again, “Take some!” the boy refused. Finally, the grandma put her own hand into the tin and gave the boy a handful of nuts. Outside the shop, grandma asked him, “Son, normally you grab everything that’s given to you. Why didn’t you take the nuts yourself?” He said, “Grandma, my hand is small. I knew that if you or the uncle gave me with your hands, I would get more peanuts!”. Though funny that is the reality of trust in God’s hands.
Human hands and hearts are small. The Lord’s hand and heart are immeasurable. When God gives, God gives abundantly – incalculable and overflowing. This glorious giving is the theme of today’s readings.
Generosity and trust always go together. A person who does not trust God will never learn to be generous. And when a person learns to trust God, he can be truly generous. He will learn to let go and let God. It is like placing all our resources in the hands of Jesus. It is the hands of Jesus holding our resources that really matters. Gathering all our resources in our hands, they amount to nothing.
One remarkable thing about today’s Gospel message is that even in the midst of confusion on what exactly to do or how to go about handling a particular situation, God always has a solution. And so, no matter what condition we are into, or what difficulties we think we have run into, God Knows how to lead us out of it, into safety.
There are many important lessons we can learn from today’s readings and especially from the miracles. The first is from the compassion and generosity of both Elisha and Jesus for their flocks. Compassion moved them to generously feed their people. Compassion is the basis of empathy and sympathy. We need them to understand what it means for others to be hungry, thirsty, sick, homeless, jobless, and lonely. In fact, we need them to be human.
The Second lesson is that God can transform something little into something great. So, we must not doubt God as the disciples did. This is because, our God is a God of impossibilities. As Christ tells us: “With God all things are possible” (Mt 19: 26), and Paul affirms: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4: 13). So, we have to always offer what we have in trust to God and in service to others.
How do we respond to the needs of our community in times of need? The goods we have, our talents, time, knowledge, experience, including our faith are values that we must place at the service of others. A generous and compassionate attitude towards others can enrich the life of many, as well as our own life. When compassion and generosity embrace, great miracles happen for a community united by one faith, one spirit and one baptism.
Finally, through his generosity and compassion, Christ continues to work miracles in our midst. He continues to feed and nourish us physically and spiritually at every Eucharistic celebration. So, with the psalmist let us praise God: “You open wide your hand, O Lord, and grant our desires.”
Have a blessed week!
Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara