18th Sunday Year A. July 31,2011. READINGS & COMMENTARY NUMBER 8

26 Jul

Dear One and All,

I am trying a new method this week. It is my aim to post this part of my Blog on Tuesday nights so that you might get a better handle on God’s Word for your inner nourishment and preparation.  I will then post the realhomilie on Thursday night. In the READINGS TAB, I will add links for you, as well as suggested reading on other web sites, as well as some written material from me; when the inspiration arrives, as well as other suggested readings, Essays that you might like me to look at for general posting. What do you think?  🙂

Let’s see how it goes,

Sincerely in Christ,




  • Readings for the Sunday.
  • Reflective Questions. For private or group use.
  • Focusing the Gospel.
  • Connecting the Gospel.
  • Understanding Scripture.


Try not to read just to read it and get through it. Got my drift? We can do this so easily. Take the Readings slowly….as you read, you might like to read it aloud. The sound of the words help us concentrate and it helps us reflect as we read. Try and be aware of your breathing before you even start….it is better to be at 5 k.p.h that 50! Enable words and meanings to gently jump out at you….soothingly take note in your mind as to what teases you as you read and see God’s Word. Don’t forget that the First Reading is always linked to the Gospel…..see if you can pick up the links.

A reading from the prophet Isaiah

Thus says the Lord:

Oh, 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. Why spend money on what is not bread, your wages on what fails to satisfy?

Listen, listen to me and you will have good things to eat and rich food to enjoy. Pay attention, come to me; listen, and your soul will live. With you I will make an everlasting covenant out of the favours promised to David.

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


R. The hand of the Lord feeds us: he answers all our needs.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love. How
good is the Lord to all, compassionate to all his creatures. R.

The eyes of all creatures look to you and you give them their food in due time. You open wide your hand, grant the desires of all who live. R.

The Lord is just in all his ways and loving in all his deeds. He is close to all who call him, call on him from their hearts. R.


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans

Nothing can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.

For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

When Jesus received the news of John the Baptist’s death he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the people heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.

When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place, and the time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.’ But they answered, ‘All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.’ ‘Bring them here to me,’ he said. He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves he handed them to his disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps remaining, twelve baskets full, Those who ate numbered about five thousand men, to say nothing of women and children.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


How about going back to the First Reading, and see if the link between it and the Gospel becomes more evident.

REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS:::::::  POINTS TO PONDER  ‘Lord, what are you saying to me through your Holy Word today?’

Lord, what are you saying to me through your word? What response can I make
to your invitation?

  1.  What strikes you as you read this Gospel reading? Why?
  2.  What do you think is the meaning within God’s Word in the first Reading?
  3.  What happens in us, when we find someone who inspires ‘life’ in us?
  4.  What atmosphere do we need to provide in ourselves so that we can truly value God’s Way?
  5.  In the first reading, we are flooded with Invitations from the Lord God to Dine together; in a FREE     and life giving experience in community. How and where do you see the Lord God’s INVITATIONS coming to you these days?
  6.  Think of the many ways how God speaks to us nowadays; See if you can name the various ways  that God speaks to you…..( you might need a Cuppa for this one or even something else)
  7.  From your reading and reflection, can you make out the subtle thread which runs between the first  reading, and the Gospel? If, so what is it?

Try not to be afraid of this question….just quietly go back over the Gospel passage, and see what jumps out at you; is it an invitation? Is it a challenge? Let the message of God’s Word in all its richness, enter into your whole being…like sandalwood oil seeping gently into a beautiful Tasmanian oak floor, leaving behind its precious scent…..


Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrases

As Jesus stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed
their sick.

He took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing.

They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps remaining, twelve baskets full.

No one lives on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

The hand of the Lord feeds us: he answers all our needs.

Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty; though you have no money, come!

With you I will make an everlasting covenant.

Nothing can come between us and the love of Christ.

to the point

The crowd’s response to Jesus is based on their needs in the here-and-now: they followed Jesus so that he might cure their sick. Jesus’ response to the crowd is based on his compassion. Jesus opens the crowd’s immediate here-and-now hopes to a fullness they do not expect: the future banquet of eternal life.

Connecting the Gospel

to the first reading

The future banquet of abundance that Isaiah had envisioned is realised in Jesus’ response to the needy crowd. Both Isaiah and Jesus envision the significance of this banquet: ‘that you may have life.’

to human experience

We take whatever steps we need to meet our immediate needs, even yet knowing that there will always be more needs. Satisfaction will only occur when we have eternal life.

Understanding Scripture

Eschatological banquet (This means the mega celebration at the end of time; of our time, when
we move into a new dimension of oneness with God and all.)

The Eucharistic overtones in this familiar story of the feeding of the 5,000 are clear; in this story as at the Last Supper, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it (13:19; 26:26). Yet the Eucharistic understanding of this miracle story does not exhaust its meaning.

This episode follows the story of King Herod’s birthday banquet for his royal courtiers featuring the dance by Herodias’ daughter and the execution of John the Baptist (14:1-12). Matthew now contrasts the banquet of the king of this world to the banquet provided by Jesus for the hungry crowd; this illustrates once again the ongoing conflict between kingdoms (Lent 1).

Several details of the miraculous feeding point readers to the ‘eschatological banquet’ in the kingdom of heaven. First, Matthew greatly enlarges Mark’s number of 5,000 (Mark 6:44) by indicating that this ‘vast crowd’ (Matthew 14:14) did ‘not count [ ] women and children’ (14:21). This anticipates the last day when ‘many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven’ (8:11). The vastness of Matthew’s crowd suggests the ingathering of the nations and at the same time
enhances the miraculous provision of abundant food required for all to eat and be satisfied (14:20) – with leftovers! The ‘twelve’ baskets of leftovers is usually taken to symbolise all Israel. Thus, at this banquet, Israel and the nations are represented.

In a contemporary Jewish source (2 Baruch 29:4-8), the great banquet at the end time will consist of seafood and manna; thus Jesus provides bread and fish (Matthew 14:17). Similarly, the earth shall ‘yield fruits ten thousandfold,’ thus the abundant leftovers (14:20); and the ‘hungry will enjoy themselves and they will, moreover, see marvels everyday,’ such as the miraculous healings performed by Jesus (14:14). These signs indicate that people ‘have arrived at the consummation of time.’ Thus, Jesus’ feeding the vast crowd demonstrates more than ‘pity’ (Matthew 14:14) and power; Jesus signals that the end of the age has come and the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

I hope that you have found the above material helpful in your digestion of God’s Word, reflection and prayer life. On Thursday night/Friday morning, I will post the realhomilie. If you subscribe, this will automatically be sent to your computer immediately after I have hit the PUBLISH BUTTON! Why not subscribe if you are not already….doesn’t cost anything. But don’t forget the FUNNIES TAB. ( This can only be done by going back to the website, sadly it doesn’t get sent to you…I can’t do that yet! 😦 We are now up to Chapter 10 of the little story about Finuge, and it’s people in County Kerry, Ireland. It will sure bring a smile to your dial, and maybe a tear to your eyes.



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