Homily for Monday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: THE MIRACLE OF THE EUCHARIST!
By: Fr. Benedict Agbo
Homily for Monday August 3 2020
*Jer 28 :1-17, Matt 14 :13 – 21.
The difference between miracles and magic is that miracles are meant to build faith while magic is meant to showcase wonder and admiration. Every miracle of Christ has a theological significance. Today, we need to look at the significance of the miracle of the multiplication of 5 loaves of bread into over 5000 loaves.
1. CHALLENGE : The miracle began with a challenge to the apostles : ‘Give them something to eat yourselves’. The Church of Christ is never a receiver but a giver. It only takes from the people a little token of their faith and commences the miracle of multiplication of their resources. So many communities only provided land many years ago to the Church, but come today and behold edifices of development and empowerment. Christ’s challenge to the universal Church is to continue the miracle of empowerment that cuts across the spiritual, economic, political, educational and even recently security challenges.
2. BLESSING : Jesus took the bread, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. This is the significant role of the Church most represented by her priests who must continue to take the little tokens of faith from the people and pour down blessings from heaven upon them.
3. FEEDING OF HUNGRY HEARTS : Breaking the loaves he handed them to the disciples who fed the people and they were satisfied. The feeding of hungry hearts prefigured in this miracle is what the Church continues to do day after day in the mass. If we become so used to the miracle of the Eucharist that we begin to rush the mass, especially the Word of God (which is the only variable in the mass that enhances spiritual creativity) the consequence is that we may no longer feed the people. The Sunday mass may now be turned into administrative meeting points for parishioners to gather, raise money and hear announcements. We must watch our points of emphasis by the time we allocate for each activity within the mass.
False prophets are all over the place, telling the people like Prophet Hananaiah did in today’s 1st reading what they want to hear. But true prophets like Jeremiah, will continue to insist on telling the people what they need to hear. And that truth is that : Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you will not have eternal life … Unless you hear the Word of God and keep it you will not have eternal life. Both the real food and the real Word are contained in the Holy mass yet our society is busy downplaying the functionality of the mass. They will attend a Wedding reception without attending the Wedding mass.
They will attend a Funeral ceremony without attending the Funeral mass. They will attend a Thanksgiving ceremony without the Thanksgiving mass. But whether we accept it or not, the Eucharistic is the kernel of our Christian faith. The Eucharist is the regulatory meal that keeps us in a state of grace for salvation. St Ignatius of Antioch calls it ‘the medicine of immortality, the antidote against death which gives eternal life in Christ’. In every celebration of the Eucharist, Christ performs the miracle of feeding, blessing, healing and restoration . Oh! May our own generation not be the one that will lose this veritable heritage that we received from our spiritual ancestors. May nothing prevent us from receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist ( whether it is given to us in the hand or directly in the tongue)!
JESUS IN THE HOLY EUCHARIST, WE ARE SORRY FOR ALL THE SINS COMMITTED AGAINST YOU ON EARTH!