August 3: 18th Sunday of Year: Readings: 1.
Isaiah 55:1-3; Psalm 145; 2. Romans 8:35, 37-
39; Gospel, Matthew 14:13-21.

by Fr Kevin Waldie, SM
Being fed from the love of God is the thought that comes through to us in each of our biblical authors this Sunday.
The prophet Isaiah has as his particular focus the bread or food that truly satisfies. In one sense this is the Word of God. It is understood as life-giving. And it is given in a relationship grounded in a love that comes without a price tag. Also it is thoroughly reliable. Who then would not want to feed on that kind of food?

multiplication of loaves and fishes

Paul also appreciated this love and he preached it. Thus in today’s verses from Romans his focus is on the love coming from both Christ and God the Father. Like the love presented by Isaiah, Paul’s notion of love is such that it bestows a strength that protects against a
whole range of identified negative forces. And so in Paul’s few words we hear a message
that encourages and builds us up.
In Matthew’s Gospel, the feeding of a group of people in excess of 5000 gathers up all of the thoughts expressed in the previous two readings and fixes upon the five loaves that miraculously multiply.
What Jesus provides in a deserted place is utterly free and served in such abundance
that even the leftovers are abundant. And if we are observant, this has happened because Jesus is noted for his compassion. Jesus’ compassion is asmall piece of information told to us in
order to let us know that Jesus’ love is deeply felt. Because of this, he would
not dismiss the crowd without feeding them.
Today’s readings therefore declare that divine love will never let us go spiritually hungry. And it is the Word of God that truly nourishes, empowers and fortifies every member of the People of God.

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