August 09, 2015 - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
When tragedy strikes us today, we end up creating t-shirts and yard signs and slogans like “Lafayette Strong”.
While I believe that these are important ways of dealing with our collective grief, I also think we mistakenly look for civil authorities to heal us. We forget to look to our spiritual authority.
We forget to look to Jesus. Or it is possible that we haven’t drawn close enough to the Lord for the Lord to be able to help us? By our own choosing, have we simply moved too far away from Jesus?
Then, when we feel like we've had enough, we don’t run to the Lord. Instead, we run off seeking to be satisfied and healed by yard signs and t-shirts and slogans, but we really are left empty inside.
Why? Because we don't turn to Jesus and ask him to fill us. We don’t come to Jesus seeking to be nourished with his spiritual food, his very body and blood.
We turn to all kinds of other things to satisfy us. But those things don’t satisfy us, so we're left spiritually hungry and emotionally drained.
It can seem like things are falling apart. There seems to be an increase in violence, rising poverty, a growing lack of respect for other people.
There is this sense of entitlement that has affected our young people.
We are faced with the rising cost of healthcare and the growing sense that medical treatment is being manipulated by insurance companies.
All the while, big businesses and their CEOs make megaprofits at the expense of all of us who are being trampled upon.
Aren’t there times when you feel like you’ve had enough?
When this happens, we end up like the prophet Elijah in the first reading when he said, “I just want to lay here and die. I can't take it anymore.”
What's going to happen. The future is so uncertain. Everything seems to be falling apart. I've had enough.
The Lord’s response to “I’ve had enough” is “Get up and eat.” Stop your whining, stop your complaining. Get up and eat or else the journey is going to be too rough for you. The journey is going to be tough for you and you're not going to have any food inside of you to sustain you.
You are going to be spiritually empty. Get up and eat. He got up, and ate and drank. Then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of the Lord.
It's called food for the journey. It's called the Eucharist. It's called Jesus' body and blood. It's the one thing we have to offer here that you can't find anywhere else, freely given so that we can be made spiritually strong.
Strengthened by spiritual food, we can do what Paul calls us to in the second reading, “Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving, living in love.”
When we feel like we’ve had enough Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
We can call out “Lafayette strong” all we want, but unless we turn to the Lord Jesus and beg him to feed us when we had enough, beg him to feed us when we’re empty inside, we will still just be empty inside.