What we have, what we lack, and what we want: A homily for the 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)

bible-archeology-exodus-kadesh-barnea-water-from-rock-mosesToday’s readings challenge us to consider three things:  what we have, what we lack and what we want.

  1. What we have….
    In the past week, how many times have you complained?
    Image of starving boy in Africa, text below:  “Your life isn’t that hard.”
    The first reading, from the Book of Exodus, speaks about our ancestors in the faith. They wanted freedom. They were willing to leave Egypt for freedom. But as soon as they had freedom, they realized that the now lacked the food that they had enjoyed in Egypt! This is such a human story. They complain. When we get what we want, then we want something else. And very often we forget to enjoy what we have already.  We don’t hvae it that bad!
  2. What we lack….
    In our first reading, the scripture notes that God hears their grumblings. A stomach grumbles when it’s empty. (Glory)
    God sees our emptinesses, he hears our grumblings…
    Emptiness in a marriage, in a job, emptiness when a kid leaves home for college, emptiness when a friend moves away, emptiness in prayer, etc
    “I’ve heard their emptiness….” I WILL FEED THEM!  – God
    And he not only feeds us, he has given us the RIGHT FOOD TO eat when we’re hungry….sacraments, church, scripture, family, friends `
  3. What we want….
    We all want Jesus, were built for him!
    GK Chesterton: “Even the man in the brothel is looking for love, and Jesus is love”
    “When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.” WE THINK….I just want a miracle, I want a full belly, etc….But God has something more in mind.
    A good grumble – I’m hungry for something and I don’t know what it is…..
    This is true in a spiritual way, too………………
    The EUCHARIST!!!!!!!  MUST BE THE CENTER OF LIFE. NO ONE WOULD EVER LEAVE. EVER–if they loved the Eucharist.  One thing everyone who has ever left the Catholic Church has in common:  They did not realize the beauty of the Eucharist, they do not realize that Jesus is the Eucharist.  One cannot walk away from Jesus. We must help to fix this disconnect….help people to realize that the Eucharist IS Jesus….you can’t love Jesus and not have the time fo r the Eucharist.  We should pray every day:  Jesus, help me love you more!  Which is the same as praying:  Jesus, help me love the Eucharist the more!

Maybe these are the three things we should pray with as we prepare for Mass:  We should THANK God for what we have, acknowledge where there is an emptiness and invite him in there, and then pray JESUS, HELP ME LOVE YOU MORE.