Fr. Peter Patrick’s homily for Sunday, July 25, 2021:
When someone tells you to give what you have, it’s easy to become hesitant. We ask ourselves, “what am I going to be left with?” It’s a genuine question to ask. We are all afraid of sharing what little we have. In the book of Kings, we hear about Elijah and the widow of Zarephath, who had little left to provide for her son and herself. When Elijah asked her to share, she frankly expressed her desperation. But she trusted what Elijah said, “For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land’” (1 Kgs. 17:14).
We are all afraid to share what little we have because we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We are all focused on tomorrow, which we are not certain about. When someone comes to you seeking help, you don’t know if you are the only person who can help them see another day. When we cling to what we have and don’t share, we don’t trust God but rather trust only in ourselves and our possessions. If the widow of Zarephath didn’t trust God and didn’t listen to Elijah, then the meal she prepared could have been her last, and she and her son would have died.
In today’s first reading and in today’s Gospel, those who had little could feed many. “How can I set this before a hundred people?” Elisha insisted, “Give it to the people to eat, ..For thus says the LORD, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.’” And when they had eaten, there was some left over, as the Lord had said (2Kgs. 4:43-44). And John 6:9 states, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”
In today’s Gospel Jesus is saying to us: I need your generosity; I need your talent; I need you– your hands, your feet and your voice. Sometimes we feel that our resources are so limited, yet God provides us with exactly what we need not only for ourselves, but for others as well. And if we selfishly cling to what we do have, it still could be taken away.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul says, “I urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one Body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call.” (Eph. 4:2-3)
Fr. Peter Patrick’s Homily for Sunday, July 25, 2021: