Who Do You Say That I Am, Part 1
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
In a few Sundays, we hear how Jesus sits down with his apostles in the imperial city of Caesarea Philippi and asks them point blank, “Who do you say that I am?” He does not want to know who other people say he is. He wants to know who his own followers say he is.
The next few weeks help us to get ready to answer the question, “Who do you say that I am?” It is easy to answer Jesus’ question from the head. Jesus, though, wants an answer from the heart. To get it, he goes for the stomach. Just look at the first reading for this Sunday.
Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord makes an open invitation. “Come!” He is calling to his people captive in exile. Two generations earlier, the Babylonians had invaded Judah, captured Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, and carried the people into captivity in distant Babylon. They had lost everything. The covenant with the Lord was broken. They are not sure, once freed, whether the Promised Land held anything for them to return to.
The Lord now makes incredible promises. “You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk!” The Lord knows that the way to the heart is through the stomach!
In the gospel, a vast crowd follows Jesus to a deserted place far from home. Moved with pity, he cured their sick. In the evening, they were hungry. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish that his disciples had. He said the blessing, broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. All ate and were satisfied. There were even leftovers!
Today, we can give a solid response to the question, “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus is the one who feeds his people, body and soul.
We do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4b). Jesus gives that, too. He is the word of life. One commentator stated that the five loaves of bread correspond to the five books of Moses, and the two fish represent the law and the prophets. Food and scripture go together like body and soul.
In the Eucharist, Christ gives us true food and true drink. He gives us himself.
The promises of the Lord from of old came to pass. Eventually the people were freed from exile and returned to Jerusalem. In Christ, an eternal covenant was made. We respond with the words of the Psalm 145, “The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.”
To take to prayer: When did the hand of the Lord feed you and answer your needs?
Wow! Thank you very much for your generous response to the Food Pantry's needs! Our shelves are well stocked and ready to continue serving our parish and community.
The Food Pantry is open on Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Please share this outreach ministry with those in need.
Sunday Digital Worship Aid
Nativity Longwood .
on Sunday, August 2 at 6:00AM