July 26, 2015: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time B
Click to hear Audio Homily
Do you ever dream about eating fermented napa cabbage slathered in red hot chili paste made with green onions, ginger, salt, fermented shrimp sauce, and fermented fish sauce? Is your mouth watering? Kimchi as it’s called is what I wanted to eat first when I got to my parents’ house this past weekend. There is a Korean saying, “The tour of the beautiful mountain view will need to wait until after we eat.” You’ve heard of a tag line for a candy bar commercial, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”
When Jesus saw a crowd of hungry and tired people who followed him all day walking several miles to hear him, he did the most logical thing-- he fed them. While the people were focused on physical hunger, Jesus had in mind something else; Jesus wanted to prepare them for a greater miracle -- his own body and blood--the spiritual food of life. But his compassion drew him to fill their physical needs first--he multiplied the loaves of bread and fish to satisfy their hunger. He gave them food to eat until they couldn’t eat any more. Only then did he teach them the Good News. Mother Teresa said, “This is what we must often do in our work: We must first satisfy the needs of the body, so we can then bring Christ to the poor.”
What do we hunger in our lives? What’s our deepest hunger? Our human heart is hungry--hungry for love. Nothing else will satisfy. We look to other things to fill that deepest need--our work, our toys, sports, drugs, evil ways. When evil fills us or when we are distracted, we can't love. We’ve seen in the past few weeks, the consequence of when man’s heart is filled with evil--tragedy of Chattanooga, tragedy of Lafayette, and what continues in Middle East. We are only happy when we are filled with love. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:21)
What should be the greatest hunger in our lives? Eucharist. Jesus said to St. Faustina about Communion, “My great delight is to unite Myself with souls. Know, My daughter, that when I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. But souls do not even pay any attention to Me; they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. Oh, how sad I am that souls do not recognize Love!” Our response should be like that of St. Faustina, "O Treasure of my heart, the only object of my love and entire delight of my soul, I want to adore You in my heart as You are adored on the throne of Your eternal glory.” When we can embrace that prayer with sincerity, we are one step closer to finding satisfaction of our deepest hunger.
-Fr. Paul Yi