Dear Friends in Christ, Feed Us, Jesus
Jesus knows about our hunger, and he wants to feed us. In the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus, the compassionate Lord, feeds the hungry crowd. In the miracle of the loaves and fish, Jesus demonstrates his power to satisfy any deep hunger in human life (cf. Mt. 14: 13-21). We are hungry and thirsty people, and it is Jesus alone who meets our needs through the divine bread from his hands and the sacred word from his mouth (Mt. 4:4).
Life is sometimes like a desert where we find ourselves isolated, thirsty, hungry, and exhausted. Jesus, in his deep love, comes to us to nourish us with his bread and word. Jesus never leaves us unprovided for spiritually. Even in our most difficult moments, in our neediness and weakness, Jesus in his providence reaches out to satisfy our needs; "the hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs," the Psalmist says ( Ps. 145).
The eucharistic figure in this Sunday's Gospel is apparent. At every Mass, Jesus nourishes our body and soul from the tables of word and bread, and he says, "Heed me, and you shall eat well" (Is.55:1-3). As we begin the feast-full month of August, we must avail ourselves of its many servings of liturgical feasts. I, in particular, look forward to being divinely fed, especially at the celebration of the memorial of St. John Vianney, the feast of the Transfiguration, and the feast of St. Dominic during this week. I hope all of you, too, will look up to Jesus to feed you from his abundance this week and the coming weeks in the month. Feed us, Jesus. And having been satisfied by the Lord, we, too, must, in turn, strive to feed others in material and spiritual ways.
Let me conclude this message on a thankful note. Your generous contribution toward the Dominican Fathers and Brothers of the Province of Nigeria this past week did not go unnoticed. I am grateful to all who contributed to our mission appeal. The brothers will remember you all at our Dominican conventual masses. E seun gan (Thank you so much in the Yoruba language).
In Christ, the Living Bread,
Fr. Bernard Oniwe, OP