July 25, 2021

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

How many people do you know who are hungry? At first glance, you may think, not that many. But ponder it a little more and set the idea of food aside. How many people do you know who are hungry, and what are they hungry for? This changes things because most people we know are likely hungry for something. They want something, think they want something and feel that it will fulfill them. Perhaps they are hungry for recognition. Perhaps they are hungry for friendship. Perhaps they are hungry for wealth. Perhaps they are hungry for love. And often, as is the case with most of us, when we are truly hungry for something, we perceive it to be in short supply.

We get a little selfish and think, “I want mine.” Sometimes we even make assumptions about other people to justify our selfish tendencies amid our hunger. We say, “Look at them; they’re so lucky. They have this, or they have that.” When in fact, we really don’t know their lives. We don’t know if they are truly at peace, no matter what we might perceive. Instead, we are tempted to look at others and think they have something that we do not. And in doing so, we begin to lose our center. We might even become envious, selfish, or think that the most important things are scarce. Our readings today tell us the opposite, “The hand of the Lord feeds us, God answers all our needs.”

In both the first reading and our gospel today, we have beautiful stories of God upending expectations. People see limits where God sees possibilities. People become selfish when God is generous. People are hungry, and God provides. It’s wonderful that the lectionary parallels an Old Testament story of God’s generosity with a New Testament story of God’s generosity. The message is: God was, is, and always will be generous. God provides for our needs, often in unexpected ways. Do you believe that God is trying to fulfill your deepest hunger right now? Are you willing to discover how? It may be different than you think. But God is with you, so ask.

Let Us Pray:

Gracious God, you are generous from age to age, and your love sustains all things. Send your Spirit to help us know your presence and guidance, that we too may find fulfillment and follow your example of generosity. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About John Christman, SSS