Saturday, 01 August 2020 14:02

Where is God in all this?

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18OTAEmailIt’s a natural question to ask, faced as we are with a pandemic showing few signs of being overcome. Some Christians are suggesting lengthy prayers and acts of penance to turn the wrath of God’s angry punishment away from us. That will save us, they say.

Pope Francis says it’s the wrong way to look at what is happening. God is not punishing his beloved sons and daughters. God’s will is never about punishment. I think we are often blind to the hidden presence of God.

God is deeply enfolded in, often hidden in human beings, human activity and human situations - just as God ‘hid’ himself in Jesus when he became a human person.

I think God is actually in the human beings who have turned their restaurants into food banks, people looking after the elderly and vulnerable, international students, migrant workers, people in hard lockdowns and refugees.

Sharing food is at the heart of the Gospel story this Sunday – the feeding of the 5,000. We have heard the story so many times that perhaps we don’t look deeply enough into it. It is so easy not to see the Kingdom of God in apparently human things.

But what we see in this story is how God becomes food for a hungry crowd. Jesus encourages his disciples to share the little they have with the others. Some biblical experts say that, seeing Jesus and the disciples doing this, people in the crowd began to share with each other, too. So much food was shared that there was a great deal left over.

How ever it was that the crowd was fed, other reflections emerge from the story. Jesus knows he has to answer the human needs of the crowd (for healing and food) before feeding them with words. It is not enough merely to talk about God, we have to show God, to be God in order to feed the hungers of human beings. Only then can we begin to talk. When things are done with love and compassion, a little can go a long way.

Where is God in all this? God is right here in the fearful and anxious, the ill and the mourning, the health workers and researchers, the food providers and the mask makers, the companions and the caregivers, you and me.

Read another reflection for this Sunday.

Join us in celebrating at home this Sunday using the links below.

Celebrating At Home for 18 Sunday in Ordinary Time PDF   
Celebrating At Home for 18 Sunday in Ordinary Time iPhone & iPad

Lectio Divina for 18 Sunday in Ordinary Time PDF   
Lectio Divina for 18 Sunday in Ordinary Time iPhone iPad

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