Chủ Nhật, 6 tháng 8, 2017


Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 407

Reading 1NM 11:4B-15
The children of Israel lamented,
"Would that we had meat for food!
We remember the fish we used to eat without cost in Egypt,
and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks,
the onions, and the garlic.
But now we are famished;
we see nothing before us but this manna."

Manna was like coriander seed and had the color of resin.
When they had gone about and gathered it up,
the people would grind it between millstones or pound it in a mortar,
then cook it in a pot and make it into loaves,
which tasted like cakes made with oil.
At night, when the dew fell upon the camp, the manna also fell. 

When Moses heard the people, family after family,
crying at the entrance of their tents,
so that the LORD became very angry, he was grieved.
"Why do you treat your servant so badly?" Moses asked the LORD.
"Why are you so displeased with me
that you burden me with all this people?
Was it I who conceived all this people? 
Or was it I who gave them birth,
that you tell me to carry them at my bosom,
like a foster father carrying an infant,
to the land you have promised under oath to their fathers?
Where can I get meat to give to all this people?
For they are crying to me,
'Give us meat for our food.'
I cannot carry all this people by myself,
for they are too heavy for me.
If this is the way you will deal with me,
then please do me the favor of killing me at once,
so that I need no longer face this distress."

Responsorial PsalmPS 81:12-13, 14-15, 16-17
R. (2a) Sing with joy to God our help.
"My people heard not my voice,
and Israel obeyed me not;
So I gave them up to the hardness of their hearts;
they walked according to their own counsels."
R. Sing with joy to God our help.
"If only my people would hear me,
and Israel walk in my ways,
Quickly would I humble their enemies;
against their foes I would turn my hand."
R. Sing with joy to God our help.
"Those who hated the LORD would seek to flatter me,
but their fate would endure forever,
While Israel I would feed with the best of wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would fill them."
R. Sing with joy to God our help.

AlleluiaMT 4:4
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
"This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves."
He said to them, "There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves."
But they said to him,
"Five loaves and two fish are all we have here."
Then he said, "Bring them here to me,"
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over–
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children. 

Meditation: Jesus blessed the loaves and fishes
What can truly satisfy our deepest hunger and longing? Wherever Jesus went multitudes of people gathered to meet him - people from every part of society - rich and poor, professionals and laborers, even social outcasts and pagans. What drew them to Jesus? Were they simply curious or looking for a healing? Many were drawn to Jesus because they were hungry for God. Jesus' message of God's kingdom and the signs and wonders he performed stirred fresh hope and expectation that God was acting in a new and powerful way to set people free from sin and oppression and to bring them the blessings of his kingdom.
God never rests in caring for our needs
Jesus never disappointed those who earnestly sought him out. We see a marvelous example of this when Jesus and his twelve disciples got into the boat to seek out a lonely place for some rest along the lake of Galilee, only to discover a crowd of a few thousand people had already gathered in anticipation of their arrival! Did Jesus' disciples resent this intrusion on their plan to rest awhile? Jesus certainly didn't - he welcomed them with open-arms. His compassion showed the depths of God's love and care for his people. Jesus spoke the word of God to strengthen them in faith and he healed many who were sick.
God multiplies the little we have to bring great blessing to others
As evening approached the disciples wanted Jesus to send the people away. Jesus, instead, commanded his disciples to feed the whole crowd. Why did Jesus expect his disciples to do what seemed impossible - to feed such a large and hungry crowd when there was no adequate provision in sight? Jesus very likely wanted to test their faith and to give them a sign of God's divine intervention and favor for his people. Jesus took the little they had - five loaves and two fish - and giving thanks to his heavenly Father, distributed to all until they were satisfied of their hunger. Twelves baskets full of fish and loaves that were leftover show the overflowing generosity of God's gifts to us - gifts that bring blessing, healing, strength, and refreshment.
Bread from heaven to sustain us on our journey
Jesus' feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospel accounts (Luke 9:10-17, Mark 6:34-44, John 6:51-58, Matthew 14:13-21). What is the significance of this miracle? The miraculous feeding of such a great multitude recalled the miraculous provision of manna in the wilderness under Moses' leadership and intercession for his people (Exodus 16). The daily provision of food for the people of Israel during their forty years of journeying in the barren wilderness foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would pass on to his disciples at his last supper meal on the eve of his sacrifice on the cross. 
Jesus makes a claim which only God can make: He is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy the deepest hunger we experience (John 6:32-35). The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, when Jesus said the blessing, broke and distributed the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, is a sign that prefigures the superabundance of the unique bread of the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper which sustains us on our journey to the kingdom of heaven.
God multiplies the little we have so we can bring his blessing to others
The feeding of the five thousand shows the remarkable generosity of God and his great kindness towards us. When God gives, he gives abundantly. He gives more than we need for ourselves that we may have something to share with others, especially those who lack what they need. God takes the little we have and multiplies it for the good of others. Do you trust in God's provision for you and do you share freely with others, especially those who lack?
"Lord Jesus Christ, you satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts and you feed us with the finest of wheat (Psalm 81:16). Fill me with gratitude for your blessings and give me a generous heart that I may freely share with others what you have given to me."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersThe Lord fills all things with blessing from above, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
"So that by every means the Lord might be known to be God by nature, he multiplies what is little, and he looks up to heaven as though asking for the blessing from above. Now he does this out of the divine economy, for our sakes. For he himself is the one who fills all things, the true blessing from above and from the Father. But, so that we might learn that when we are in charge of the table and are preparing to break the loaves, we ought to bring them to God with hands upraised and bring down upon them the blessing from above, he became for us the beginning and pattern and way."  (excerpt from FRAGMENT 177)

Weekday (Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time)

(Numbers 11:4b-15; Psalm 81)

KEY VERSE: "There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves" (v 16).
TO KNOW: In the Book of Exodus, Moses fed the hungry people in the desert with miraculous "manna" from heaven. The people were told not to hoard the bread, but to gather only enough for each day (16:15-30). On the sixth day, they were permitted to collect extra manna for the Sabbath day of rest. In the time of Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah was expected to be a prophet like Moses (Dt 18:15) or Elisha who performed similar miracles (2 Kgs 4:42-44). In the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fish in the wilderness, Jesus fed the people and there were twelve baskets of fragments remaining. After his death and resurrection, it would be the responsibility of the twelve apostles to feed God's people who gathered in the Eucharistic assembly on the Sabbath.
TO LOVE: What is my parish doing to feed the hungry?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, thank you for being my daily bread on life's journey.

Optional Memorial of Saint Sixtus II, pope and martyr, and companions

Sixtus II was pope from 257 to 258, following Stephen I as bishop of Rome. Sixtus was more conciliatory than his predecessor, who had broken off relations with Saint Cyprian over the question of whether lapsed Christians should be re-baptized before being allowed back into the Church. Sixtus was willing to let bishops decide what to do in their own areas and accepted both practices. Sixtus restored the relations with the African and Eastern churches, which had been broken off by his predecessor on the question of heretical baptism. In the persecutions under Emperor Valerian I in 258, numerous priests and bishops were put to death. Pope Sixtus II was one of the first victims of this persecution. He was captured by soldiers while giving a sermon and perhaps beheaded right there, along with four deacons. He was buried in the same catacomb where he had been celebrating Mass when he was arrested. He died as a martyr.

Optional Memorial of Saint Cajetan, priest

Cajetan was born in 1480 at Vicenza, Italy, and was a Venetian nobleman, Gaetano dei Conti di Tiene. He studied law in Padua, and was offered governing posts, but turned them down for a religious vocation. In 1522, Cajetan founded a hospital in Venice for victims of incurable illness. Cajetan was aware of the need of reformation in the Church, and felt called to enter a religious community to serve the sick and poor. On 3 May 1524, with three others, including John Peter Caraffa, who later became Pope Paul IV, Cajetan formed the Congregation of Clerks Regular at Rome (Theatines), with the mission of fostering the Church's mission and reviving the spirit and zeal of the clergy. Cajetan founded a bank to help the poor and offered an alternative to usurers (loan sharks); it later became the Bank of Naples. Cajetan died in 1547 at Naples, Italy. He was canonized 1671 by Pope Clement X

Monday 7 August 2017

St Sixtus II; St Cajetan.
Numbers 11:4‑15. Psalm 80(81):12-17. Matthew 14:13-21.
Sing with joy to God our help — Psalm 80(81):12-17.
In the week approaching the feast of St Mary MacKillop, we look at the life of Australia’s first saint through the lens of the daily Gospel stories. As you contemplate the daily Gospel reading, reflect on Mary’s story, and consider how your own faith journey can be enriched by her example. 
‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’
A central tenet of the life and work of Mary MacKillop was reliance on Divine Providence. Sisters went to live in outback areas. They lived among the people, in the same kind of houses, with the same resources available to everyone. Often the very low school fees were their only source of income.
They subsisted on that and any extra food provided by the people. Sometimes, they went hungry, just as their neighbours did.
In a world ruled by corporatisation, reliance on Divine Providence can be unfashionable. Having reliable streams of income is seen as prudent and a sign of good governance.
Jesus, help me to trust that you care about the poor, that you want me to continue providing shelter and community for them and will help to make it possible.


Saint Cajetan was one of the great reformers of the Church during the period of the Reformation, remaining loyal to the Church regardless of the corruptions and excesses that led many others to betray Her.
He was born inOctober 1480  into a noble family, and received a rigorous education guided by his mother, following the death of his father when he was just two. His studies of canon and civil law led him to work as a jurist in the court of Pope Julius II, which he abandoned upon the Pope's death, in order to study for the priesthood.
He was ordained at the age of 36 and founded a community of priests, who lived a monastic form of poverty and prayer and lived and worked closely with the poor in order to combat the political and spiritual corruption of the times. His order, the Congregation of Clerks Regular, were popularly called the Theatines, after the title of one of his companions, Giovanni Pietro Caraffa, the Bishop of Chieti (Theate in Latin), who later was elected Pope Paul IV.
His concern for the poor always had a strong presence in his life, and he practised charity constantly, whether in personal encounters or in the founding institutions such as a hospital for those with incurable diseases. He even founded a bank for the poor in order to lend money to them without the usual high interest charged by other money lenders.
In 1533 he founded one of his order's houses in Naples where he battled against the growth of the Lutheran heresy.  He died on August 6th 1547, the feast of the Transfiguration. This occurred in Naples when the city was still in serious spiritual, political and social trouble.

Saint Cajetan was canonized by Clement X in 1671.

Lectio Divina: 
 Monday, August 7, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer
Father of everlasting goodness,
our origin and guide,
be close to us
and hear the prayers of all who praise you.
Forgive our sins and restore us to life.
Keep us safe in your love.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 14,13-21
When Jesus received this news of John beheading, he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the crowds 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 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.' So he said, 'Bring them here to me.'
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 left over, twelve baskets full. Now about five thousand men had eaten, to say nothing of women and children.

3) Reflection
• Context. Chapter 14 of Matthew which contains the account of the multiplication of the loaves, proposes an itinerary that guides the reader in a progressive discovery of faith in Jesus: from the lack of faith on the part of his fellow countrymen to the acknowledgment of the Son of God, passing through the gift of bread. The fellow citizens of Jesus marvelled at his wisdom but do not understand that this is what acts behind his works. Besides, having a direct knowledge of Jesus’ family, of his mother, of his brothers, and of his sisters, they only succeed in seeing in him his human condition alone: he is the son of the carpenter. Not being understood in his own home town, from now on, Jesus will live in the midst of his people, to whom he will give all his attention and his solidarity. Healing and feeding the crowds.
• The dynamic of the account. Matthew has carefully narrated the episode of the multiplication of the loaves. The episode is enclosed between two expressions of transition in which he tells us that Jesus withdrew “separated himself” from the crowds, from the disciples, from the boat (vv.13-14; vv. 22-23). Verse 13 does not only serve as transition but offers us the reason why Jesus went to a desert place. Such a device serves to create the environment in which the miracle takes place. The evangelist concentrates the account on the crowd and on the attitude of Jesus in regard to the crowd.
• Jesus was moved deeply to pity. At the moment when Jesus arrives he finds himself before a crowd awaiting him; in seeing the crowd he took pity on them and healed their sick. This is a “tired and depressed crowd for they were like sheep without a shepherd” (9, 36; 20, 34). The verb that expresses the compassion of Jesus is really meaningful: “Jesus’ heart was broken”; and this corresponds to the Hebrew verb that expresses the maternal visceral love. This is the same sentiment experienced by Jesus before the tomb of Lazarus (Jn 11, 38). Compassion is the subjective aspect of the experience of Jesus that becomes effective with the gift of the bread.
• The gift of the bread. The account of the multiplication of the loaves is opened with the expression, “when evening came” (v.15) that will introduce the account of the Last Supper (Mt 26, 20) and also that of the burial of Jesus (Mt 27, 57). In the evening, then, Jesus invites the Apostles to feed the crowd. In the middle of the desert, far away from the villages and from the cities, Jesus and the disciples find themselves before a very big human problem; to feed that the big crowd that follows Jesus. But they cannot take care of this task to provide for the material needs of the crowd without the power of Jesus. Their immediate response is that of sending the crowd back home. In the face of human limitations Jesus intervenes and works the miracle satisfying the hunger of all the people who follow him. To feed the crowd is the response of Jesus, from his heart which breaks in the face of a very concrete human need. The gift of the bread is not only sufficient to satisfy the crowd but it is so superabundant that it becomes necessary to gather what was left over. In v. 19b we can see that Matthew gave a Eucharistic significance to the episode of the multiplication of the loaves: “he raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing, and breaking the loaves he handed them to his disciples”; the role of the disciples is also made evident in their function of mediation between Jesus and the crowd: “and the disciples distributed to the crowd” (v.19c). The gestures that accompany the miracle are identical to those that Jesus will fulfil later on the “night when he was betrayed”: he raised his eyes, blessed the bread and breaks it. From here comes the symbolical value of the miracle: it can be considered an anticipation of the Eucharist. Besides, on the part of Jesus, feeding the crowds is “a sign” that he is the Messiah and that he prepares a banquet of joy for the whole humanity. The disciples learn from Jesus, who distributes the bread to them, the value of sharing. A symbolical gesture that contains a real fact that goes beyond the episode itself and is projected on the future: in our daily Eucharistic celebration, where we relive that gesture of the broken bread, it is necessary that it be multiplied throughout the whole day.

4) Personal questions
• Do you try to fulfil gestures of solidarity toward those who are close to you or who share close to you the journey of life? In the face of very concrete problems of your friends or relatives, do you know how to offer your help and your availability to collaborate to find a solution?
• Before breaking the bread, Jesus raised his eyes to heaven: do you know how to thank the Lord for the daily gift of bread? Do you know how to share your goods with others, especially with the poorest?

5) Concluding Prayer
Keep me far from the way of deceit,
grant me the grace of your Law.
Do not deprive me of that faithful word,
since my hope lies in your judgements. (Ps 119,29.43)