Sunday July 25, 2021 17th Sunday Ordinary Time (Cycle B)
The tie in between today’s readings: Praise is forever.
Praise: The act of expressing approval or the offering of grateful homage in word or song as an act of worship. Psalm 145 is electrical with the excitement of praising God. There is plenty of material to work with. Throughout creation, from the smallest atom to the biggest star, we find out the more you know, the more there is to know. The most brilliant among us often end their seminars with: “we’ve just scratched the surface,” but there is jaw-dropping wonder even in that scratch. If you take time to contemplate the Amazing Creator behind the world that you see, then your praise of God’s handiwork will never end. Yet that’s only His fingerprint…there’s more!
Today, in our readings, we see an impossible task in 2 Kings and the Gospel of John; that can only be solved by a miracle. Remember this: the Almighty doesn’t do tricks. Along with the physical events, miracles in the Bible have a potent message. God presents the apostle and us with a “crisis of lack”. We all know it: not enough time, not enough talent, not enough money. We’d like to have more faith, but we’re afraid we’d be consumed in the process. We know that a sparrow doesn’t hit the ground without our heavenly Father knowing it…but it still hits the ground. Jesus, there’s not enough fish, not enough bread…send them away. We fail. In feeding the 5000, God shows that He is aware of our needs and is not bound by limits. We must learn to stop compromising the right thing to do for the sake of the safe thing to do and step out in faith…well baby steps, anyway. Scripture, miracles, and crisis are used to grow our faith. We give God all that we have as we ask Him to fill in what’s lacking in our lives to shape our personalities, our family, and society, to the praise and glory of His name.
The biggest miracle of all is God in re-creation. God made the universe with just a few words. Multiply some bread…no sweat. But to redeem mankind took an incarnation, a crucifixion and a resurrection. The greatest act of God is the born again person. By the transforming power of the cross God shares His intimate Self with us. Grace, mercy, forgiveness beckons us to a new life with the God who loves us. People who before would be at each other’s throats are now brothers! In Ephesians 4: 1-6 we see the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, humility, and tolerance as evidence of a new personal relationship with the Divine. He offers this salvation to you even now. Take Him up on it. Leave your sins at the cross. Give your life to Jesus. He’ll make you a new person.
God makes Himself known in creation, socially and intimately. We get lost in the wonder of Him with only the little glimpse that we have. So get excited! In heaven we will see Him face to face! He will reveal more about Himself to us than we can handle. The explosion of thanksgiving, worship and praise will blow our minds, as we try to take it all in! What we’re headed for is greater than all the rock concerts, sporting events or political rallies ever! The beatific vision awaits…buckle up.