SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle B/Year I (July 25, 2021)
2 Kgs 4:42-44/Eph 4:1-6/Jn 6:1-15
During this time of pandemic, there have been a lot of companies and businesses that closed and declared bankruptcy. Consequently, a lot of people lost their jobs and their families go hungry. Good that here in our country, a lot of generous people have shared their goods with others especially to those affected by pandemic. The government and the Church have also done their part in helping the people addressing their needs.
One good thing that suddenly emerged in the country is the blessing called “community pantry.” It began in Maginhawa street, Quezon City some months ago and it spread throughout the country in a magical way. In this community pantry, what is being developed is the spirit of sharing. One can give in accordance with one’s capacity and one can get in accordance with one’s needs for the day.
In our simple mission Church in Mayngaway, San Andres, Catanduanes, we also put up a community pantry which we call “St. Padre Pio Community Pantry.” The good thing is that even though majority of the people there are simple people, yet they are doing their best to contribute something every time we put up the community pantry during Sundays. So every Sunday, we have something to give to those who are need coming from the neighbourhood. With this community pantry, the spirit of sharing is being developed among the simple people.
Jesus knows the suffering and needs of His people. In the gospel, Jesus knew that the people who were following Him for a day listening to His preaching were already hungry. So He procured food for them by multiplying the fish and the loaves. Five thousand men ate and had their fill out of two fish and five loaves. And there were still twelve baskets of left over loaves. Even until now, Jesus knows our situation and needs. Perhaps we may wonder and ask: Where is God amidst this pandemic and suffering? Why does He not help us? But Jesus never abandons us in our needs. He helps us in many ways: through the help of the Church, the government, the generous individuals, and the community pantries.
There is a true story which goes this way: “Yesterday, my neighbour left me some homemade soup to pick up from outside; while I am recovering from a mild case of COVID-19. When I got there, I found not only a big container of piping hot soup, but two huge bags of shopping. I almost burst into tears. She barely knows me.” The kindness of strangers never fails to amaze (credit to the owner of the story).
In this time of pandemic, we must realize that there are a lot of people who are suffering and who need help. We must be sensitive to their needs. Instead of closing our eyes to their needs, let us extend our hands to them and try our best to be of help to them, whether we know them or not. Just like in the story, we must give generously since God is also generous to us. In the gospel, Jesus was very generous in giving food to the people to give us good example of how to give. May we always be generous to the needy for Jesus said: Whatever you do to the least, you do it to me.