REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE EIGHTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

DIVINE ABUNDANCE AMID SCARCITY

First Reading: Numbers 11:4-15
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 80(81):12-17
Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21
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Our age is often characterized by an imbalance between scarcity and abundance—of resources, time, and sometimes hope, to the point that our human instincts drive us to seek what we lack, to yearn for the familiar comforts, and to fixate on our immediate desires. Today’s readings meet in a point of convergence to explore the interplay between our perceived scarcity and the boundless abundance that can flow from a steadfast trust in God.

Beginning with the First Reading from the book of Numbers, we see the Israelites, wandering in the desert and finding themselves discontented despite their miraculous liberation from Egypt. Their complaints reveal a shortsighted view, where scarcity of certain foods overshadows the abundant freedom they’ve been granted. In their craving, they overlook the God who led them to this point and can undoubtedly provide for them. How often do we find ourselves similarly fixated on our desires, overlooking the abundance of blessings surrounding us?

And in consonance, the psalmist calls us to open our mouths wide, an invitation to receive the divine nourishment that transcends physical sustenance. This imagery extends beyond the literal to encompass our hearts and minds, urging us to be receptive to God’s Word and guidance. The invitation to follow God’s ways suggests that true scarcity lies not in physical want, but in neglecting the spiritual sustenance that leads to fulfillment.

Casting a gaze on the Gospel Reading, a moment of divine abundance amid apparent scarcity is captured. With five loaves and two fish, Jesus feeds a multitude, highlighting the miraculous nature of His provision. The disciples’ skepticism mirrors our own tendency to doubt divine abundance in the face of scarcity. Yet, Christ’s multiplication of the meager offerings underscores the limitless power of God to transform little into much.

Dear friends in Christ, reflecting on these readings, the Church invites us to embrace trust over doubt. When we shift our focus from scarcity to trust, we open ourselves to divine abundance that transcends the limitations of our human perspective.

It is true that the concept of scarcity can manifest in various forms—physical, emotional, or spiritual. Yet, the message from these passages is clear: Even in the face of scarcity, God’s abundance is not only present but capable of transforming us. Our role is to cultivate a trust that turns our meager offerings into vessels for divine multiplication. Just as the five loaves and two fish became a feast for thousands, our willingness to trust can unlock the floodgates of divine grace and provision.

As we journey through the desert of life’s challenges, let us remember that divine abundance is not limited by scarcity. When we trust in God’s providence and open ourselves to His guidance, our perceived limitations can become fertile grounds for miracles. The invitation is before us—to shift our gaze from scarcity to trust, and in doing so, to witness the extraordinary manifestations of divine abundance that await us, even amid the most challenging of circumstances.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE NEXT DAY’S REFLECTION: REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR THE MEMORIAL OF ST. DOMINIC, PRIEST & FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF PREACHERS)

Shalom!
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo, Brazil
nozickcjoe@gmail.com / fadacjay@gmail.com

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Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. More about him here.

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