August 2, 2020: A Reflection for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Matthew 14:13-21

There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves. (Matthew 14:17)

Jesus, today’s readings envelop us in the free gift of your love. We don’t have to earn it: “Come without money and without cost.” We come from Love and by very definition of our creature-hood we are the extension of your hands and heart in this world because in you we live and move and have our being. It is our essence to be love in our daily lives, Jesus, because nothing can separate us from your love.

You teach your disciples what it means to be your hands and heart in this world. When they tell you of the hunger of the crowd who had gathered to listen to you, your response is, There is no need to send them away; give them some food yourselves. Be my hands and heart to them in service. Show them my love and care by providing for them. Show them by your self-giving that we all share in the unity of being children of God.

All creation knocks at the door of our hearts and begs for the food of respect, of caring, of service done with a joyful heart. In sharing the bread of our lives, your Kingdom comes in an ever-deeper way. Your will, which is your love made manifest in each of us, is done until we reach its fullness in heaven.

Be with us in this journey, Jesus. As today’s gospel tells us, the disciples found you in a deserted place to which you had withdrawn. It began with prayer and overflowed into your daily self-giving in love when the crowds discovered your whereabouts. May your tender love enfold us and help us to offer in union with yours, our hands and our hearts to all your creatures, that they may see your face in us, may experience the love of a friend when they knock at our heart and find your caring and goodness in our service to one another. Help us to experience from deep within that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. May it be our joy to walk in this joy today and always.