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Thursday, 07 April 2022 16:23

A Centenary of Love and Devotion: Homily

joecaddy ss22 03 250Homily Given at Mass: Fr Joe Caddy

Do you ever look at a situation and think that you would like to do something about it but it is just too big? Climate change, world peace, the plight of refugees, world poverty – these are enormous and real issues that our world is struggling with. We would love to act but when we get down to details the problem is beyond us.

This might leave us disappointed. This is part of being human- we are limited and the details and realities of life mean that we cannot do everything that we want to do and so many things are impossible.

However, it is not so with God - for God all things are possible and God answers our stories of limitedness with his own story of plenty and abundance. Furthermore, our God genuinely cares about the things that trouble us.

This is beautifully illustrated in the Gospel today- we are told that a large crowd of 4000 has gathered to listen to Jesus. Jesus looks at them and feels sorry for them- they have been with him three days and will be hungry – he cannot send them home hungry- they will collapse on the way as some had come a great distance.

The disciples see the problem – it is obvious really; they are in a remote place where could anyone get enough bread to feed so many?

They have seven loaves and a few small fish – you have to be joking but it is impossible.

However, we know the story- Jesus tells the people to sit down, he blesses the food and hands it out- everyone has enough to eat and there are stacks of leftovers.

The little that the people had was impossible to feed them and to address their needs- but when they took

the little they had and handed it over to Jesus there was more than enough for everybody.

The Gospel then calls on us to take all that we have – with its limitations and shortcomings, with its undoubted inadequacies and hand it over to Jesus. Then Jesus will not only fill the deepest hungers and quench the greatest thirsts of the people but will do so with reckless abandon and with an abundance that we could barely even imagine. All we need to do is trust.

So, we accept that the little we have may not be able to solve the problems of climate and world peace- but we are called, to take the little that we do have and let Jesus bless that and trust God to do the rest.

I like to think of our gathering here at Mass as part of an ongoing legacy of the Gospel that we have just heard. Here we come with our extended faith family, we pray and reflect and tell the stories of faith then we are invited to be further nourished by Jesus who cannot bear to send us away empty - who reaches out and longs to feed us and fill our deepest hungers and thirsts out of his own generosity and hospitality.

Here today, Jesus nourishes us with food- his body and blood to strengthen us so that we do not collapse on our journey, to comfort us in our sorrows and console us in our griefs, to celebrate with us in our successes and to share our joy and hopes and dreams.

So as believers we are nourished here by the word of God; by our gathering as the Church and by the Communion that we are invited to share mindful, as Pope Francis has so beautifully put it, that - “the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment” for us in our weakness and our need.

joecaddy ss22 02 980