Liturgy of the Sunday

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Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Memorial of Porrajamos, the massacre of the Gypsy people by the Nazis during the Second World War. Memorial of blessed Ceferino Gimenéz Malla, a Gitano martyr killed in Spain in 1936. We remember Yaguine and Fodé, two boys 15 an d14 years old from Guinea Conakry, who died because of cold in 1999 while they were trying to fly to Europe where they dreamt to study hidden in the cargo hold of an airplane.

First Reading

Isaiah 55,1-3

Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty; though you have no money, come! Buy and eat; come, buy wine and milk without money, free! Why spend money on what cannot nourish and your wages on what fails to satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and you will have good things to eat and rich food to enjoy. Pay attention, come to me; listen, and you will live. I shall make an everlasting covenant with you in fulfilment of the favours promised to David.


Psalm 144


Let us praise your name, O Lord, for ever and ever.

I will give you glory, O God my King,
I will bless your name for ever.

I will bless you day after day
and praise your name for ever.

the Lord is great, highly to be praised,
His greatness cannot be measured.

Age to age shall proclaim your works,
shall declare your mighty deeds,

shall speak to your splendour and glory,
tell the tale of your wonderful works.

They will speak of your terrible deeds,
recount your greatness and might.

They will recall your abundant goodness;
age to age shall ring out your justice.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.

They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God,

to make known to men your mighty deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.

Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
your rule lasts from age to age.

The Lord is faithful in all in words
and loving in all his deeds.

The Lord supports all who fall
and raises all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all creatures look to you
and you give them their food in due time.

You open wide your hand
grant the desires of all who live.

The Lord is just in all his ways
and loving in all his deeds.

He is close to all who call him,
who call on him from their hearts.

He grants the desires of those who fear him,
he hears their cry and he saves them.

The Lord protects all who love him;
but the wicked he will utterly destroy.

Let me speak the praise of the Lord,
let all mankind bless his holy name
for ever, for ages unending.

Second Reading

Romans 8,35.37-39

Can anything cut us off from the love of Christ -- can hardships or distress, or persecution, or lack of food and clothing, or threats or violence; No; we come through all these things triumphantly victorious, by the power of him who loved us. For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nothing already in existence and nothing still to come, nor any power, nor the heights nor the depths, nor any created thing whatever, will be able to come between us and the love of God, known to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 14,13-21

When Jesus received this news he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the crowds heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick. When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, 'This is a lonely place, and time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.' Jesus replied, 'There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.' But they answered, 'All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.' So he said, 'Bring them here to me.' He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves he handed them to his disciples, who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps left over, twelve baskets full. Now about five thousand men had eaten, to say nothing of women and children.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


When Jesus reached the shore, he saw that a crowd was there waiting for him. They were tense, worried people, exhausted by their labour and, above all, they were people in search of a shepherd, someone who would take care of their needs. Jesus' heart, as happened so many other times, could not resist being moved. He healed the sick who were brought to him, and then, as was his habit, stopped with them and began to speak and teach. He stayed with them until evening. And everyone listened to him. It is worth noting that the crowd certainly lacked bread, but above all they lacked true words for their lives. They lacked someone who would bend down over them and their sick friends and family. That is why they spent the entire day with Jesus and listened to him. Jesus was right when he said, "One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." Faced with the crowd, the disciples try to make Jesus be reasonable: "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves." This was a normal, even thoughtful, thing to do. But Jesus responds, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." It was an invitation to them each to be responsible, against the deeply rooted way of thinking that says, "everyone take care of himself!" The Lord asked his disciples to behave in a totally different way. That crowd did not have to be sent away. They - the disciples - were the ones who needed to help them. The Lord said this even though he knew that there was little in the disciples' hands: barely five loaves and two fish, nothing for five thousand men. And yet with this little bit the disciples needed to respond to the crowd's needs, without sending anyone away. We could say that the miracle started here: the disciples' weakness, if placed in the Lord's hands with faith, has the strength even to multiply bread. Poverty becomes abundance.
In this Gospel passage, it is clear that the miracle is performed by the Lord. But Jesus does not perform it without the help of the disciples. He needs our hands, even if they are weak, and our resources, even if they are modest. If everyone's hands join with the Lord's hands, they become a fountain of wealth. This is the meaning of the twelve baskets of bread and fish that were left over: every disciple, each one of the Twelve, is given one of these baskets so that he might feel the grave and sweet responsibility of distributing that bread, which the mercy of God multiplied in his hands.