Homily for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: The Power of God’s grace
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Homily for Sunday August 2 2020
God knows how best to respond to our lacks, especially when we seek Him with sincere hearts. In our sincere search for Him, even in the face of lack, He brings us to experience the grace of abundance made possible by His power that transforms human little and insufficient means to yield extra fruits. He multiplies our meagre gifts to an overflow and brings us to enjoy the dividends of our union with Him by grace; the union of love so strong that no power can break. May you experience on a daily basis God’s grace of superabundance; Amen.
God is forever gracious and His treasures are inexhaustible. He never ceases to invite us to humble ourselves and to come to Him with our lacks and human limitations that we may experience His power and providence. His love for us is profound, so deep that no one can reach to the end of it. His arms are forever open to welcome us back whenever we positively respond to His constant invitation. The First Reading of today (Is 55:1-3) brings us this invitation through the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah; “come to the water all you who are thirsty; though you have no money, come! Buy corn without money, and eat, and, at no cost, wine and milk.” With the language of daily human needs of food and drink, God continues to invite us to pay attention, to listen, to buy and to eat; all of these in an unexplainable gratuitous mode. It is an invitation to refill our emptiness in His abundance. An invitation to come and experience the power of God’s love and to realise how strong and how powerful this love is and to make sincere filial commitment towards it. Indeed, “nothing can come between us and the love of Christ… For I am certain of this… no created thing can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35, 37-39). It is the love of God that transforms all of our little efforts and insufficiencies into manifestations of abundance to lead us to see His glory. Such was the case with the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand men with five loaves and two fish.
Our little is infinitely insufficient and insignificant. However, when our little encounters the power of God’s grace, it receives the power of self-multiplication, occasioned by grace. It is only God who can blossom our little. God alone can prosper our human efforts. This was the experience of the disciples in the Gospel Reading of today (Matthew 14:13-21). Sometimes we are afraid of our little efforts and talents and gifts, because we assume they are insufficient. Our little efforts may be insufficient by nature but never by grace. Grace changes the little we have into an overflow; into an abundance that cannot be exhausted. But this grace requires us to be courageous enough to present our little for God to do His work. The disciples never knew the potentialities of the little they had until they presented it to the Lord. This was the case with the bread and fish presented to Jesus by the disciples as He took them “raised His eyes to heaven and said the blessing.” By their very nature, these loaves of bread and fish were incapable of quenching the hunger of the crowd. But by grace, they went round and remained twelve baskets full. This is applicable to every aspect of our lives as human beings. Never be afraid to present your insufficiency and your little effort to God. God wants us to provide Him with the raw materials for our transformation. Not that He cannot do without them but because He wants us to cooperate with Him in the work of salvation, redemption, liberation and sanctification. He wants us to be co-responsible. This is partly what it means to be created in the image and likeness of God.
As we continue on the path of life and on our journey of faith, may we be certain of God’s love for us and of the abundance that flows from this love especially when we allow God to use our littleness to manifest the power of His glory; Amen.
Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE