Sunday Reflection: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B
1st Reading: 2 Kings 4:42-44
2nd Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6
Gospel: John 6: 1-15
Reflection: “The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.” These are the words from our response in our Responsorial Psalm this day. These words express the depth of man’s needs and God’s response to it. Many of us these days have been suffering from poverty. This poverty has brought many of our people to starvation and injustices. How are we, then, to respond to these problems?
Many have looked into the Church as a charitable institution that will help in alleviating the needs of many today. Is this the primary concern of the Church? Jesus in our Gospel, and the Prophet Elisha in our 1st Reading give us a glimpse into the centrality of God in answering the problem of poverty. God is a provident Father who gives what we need. He is a Father who brings into fulfillment His plans for us in the best way possible by providing us the necessary things we need to be able to achieve the best in us and for us.
Jesus and the Prophet Elisha turned to God to respond to the needs of those in need. They abandoned themselves to God’s providential love. God provided what they needed to give because they put everything to God’s hands. The superabundance of God’s love flows when there is humility and authentic concern for others. This is what we Christians today need to give, authentic concern for others and humility to accept our incapability to provide for others, to recognize that God alone can fulfill what we need. We, then become like the apostles, we admit that we can provide only what we can, and that the Lord can provide much more. We can never outdo God in His love and concern. We are just instruments of God’s providential love.
St. Paul exhorts us, this Sunday, “to live in a manner worthy of our calling, with humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” This is how we must respond in an even greater manner. The message of Jesus and the Prophet, is encapsulated in the first words of St. Paul described above, “live in a manner worthy of our calling.” To respond to the perennial problem of poverty, we must live the call of God in our live, we must become like Christ in the fullest way we can be. Our giving and receiving should be pattered to Christ’s way of giving and receiving.
The challenge of the readings this Sunday for us is that we live in authenticity our Christian calling to respond to the poverty that we are facing whether financially, morally, and spiritually. We are the body of Christ, and we ought to act as the Head directs us. We must become the sign of God’s presence in today. We have to usher people, through our actions and prayers, to God.