1 July, 2012

posted 28 Jun 2012, 00:14 by C S Paul

1 July, 2012

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Devotional Thoughts for the fifth Sunday after Pentecost

source - http://www.malankaraworld.com


FEEDING THE FIVE THOUSAND

Gospel: St. Luke 9:10-17 

10 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 

11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 

12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”

13 But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.”

And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 

14 For there were about five thousand men.

Then He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” 

15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.

16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 

17 So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.

Human Helplessness and Abundance of God

by Very Rev. Lazarus Remban

The miracle of loaves and fishes is very familiar to us and this is the only miracle of Jesus related in all four gospels.

When the Apostles had comeback from their tour our Lord took them to the neighborhood of Bethsaida, a remote village, for rest. But there also the people crowded, disturbing his privacy. But to Jesus, human need took precedence over everything.

The evening came, home was far away, and the people were tired and hungry. Jesus ordered his disciples to give them a meal.

This Gospel tells us many things, a few being:

1. Jesus was concerned that men were hungry.

It would be most interesting to work out how much time Jesus spent, not talking, but easing men's pain and satisfying their hunger. He still needs the service of men's hand. The mother, the nurse, the doctor, the friend, the parent, the social worker, they have all preached far more effective sermons than the eloquent orator.

2. Jesus' help was generous

There was enough, and more than enough. In love there is no nice calculation of the less and more. God is like that. God has created a world where there is more than enough for all, if people will share it.

3. There is a permanent truth in an action in time

In Jesus all men's needs are supplied. There is a hunger of the soul, there is in every man, sometimes at least a longing to find something in which he may invest his life. As St. Augustine says " Our hearts are restless until they rest in Him". St. Paul says, " My God will supply every need of yours" – even in the desert places of this life.

Feeding Multitudes with Five Loaves of Bread

by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

In today's reading we start with the report given by the blessed Apostles soon after their return from the first trial work in the mission field. In a very pleasant manner, they sit around their master and explained him what they saw and experienced. We could find a similar explanation given by St. Mark in his Gospel chapter 6: Vs 30-43.

When our Lord took his beloved Apostles to a desert place privately, a good number of people reached them soon. Among the crowd, a good number wanted to hear him and learn more about the kingdom of God and many others were longing for their own or their close ones' cure from illness. Our Lord knew that the crowd would be following them. See St. John 6:1, 5. Our Lord satisfied them all granting what they looked for.

The incident described in the following lines is well known to each and everyone of us. In the evening of a day, (might be after two or three days' continuous mission) the Apostles approached our Lord with a normal and ordinary request. "Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, lodge and get victuals: for we are here in the desert place." Can any one tell that our Lord was not cautious about the needs high lighted by the Apostles? The answer is very simple. He knew what is going to happen and what is to be happened. Our Lord answered "You give them to eat". When our Lord asked them so, did he not know that they had nothing with them? He wanted to search among the surrounding. When God Almighty has kept us in a position, he has arranged the resources we might need in the nearby locations. It is the duty of the creation to search for God's reserves. Now a days many of our parishes are giving much importance for the charity. It is a novel idea and many are doing the same in a most appreciable manner and way. When we would chart out a program for the social progress or so, we must find the resources also from our midst, instead of crying for funds. When and where we could arrange from our midst, there is no meaning in making complaints to God Almighty for not having enough funds/resources.

In the dry and arid deserts there are some bushes which might grow the maximum height of 10-12 inches. In a few bushes we could find that there is water in the stems of such plants. See what sort of arrangement is made by Lord God for the camels and other such desert animals. Now also our God is asking us to feed the poor, needy and downtrodden around us. Instead of taking something from our pockets, we could blame the Church, the clergy and the Church leadership. Recently when Chikunguinea appeared in central Travancorean districts, many wrote in the web Medias accusing the clergy and the Church. I am not advocating that the Church or the clergy have no responsibility in such emergencies. When we hear about a need of common nature or so, let us think what we could. We must listen well and identify what is the message of our Lord to us.

The blessed Apostles said "we have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people". When they said so, they were not sure that our Lord could do a miracle with the five loaves to feed more than five thousand men and nearly the same number of women and children. Yet they were willing to submit what they had. When God is asking you and me, we must submit what we have and we must wait to see what would happen to the thing in His hand.

Our Lord asked the Apostles to make them sit in fifties. This teaches that everything needs a proper system and discipline. In our Churches, our faithful often make a big rush when they move to the front to partake the Holy Communion or for the Kai Muthu before the final dispersal. Are we not educated enough to keep up the discipline? We should not forget that all our actions inside the Church are in the notice of our Lord.

See the 17th verse. "And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets." The number of the baskets teaches that the each basket was meant for each Apostle. They were supposed to continue the feeding mission in their own Churches.

May God bless us all.


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