Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Devotional Thoughts Based on Luke 9:10-17

Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

by Rev. Dr. P. S. Samuel Cor-Episcopa

Gospel Reading: Luke 9: 10-17

"You give them something to eat." Verse 13

Today's Gospel describes the return of the Apostles after their wonderful missionary experience. They preached peace and the advent of the reign of God. Our Lord received them gladly and withdrew with them privately to Bethsaida of Galilee. Here he preached to the multitude that gathered to meet him and to listen to him. As the evening approached, the Apostles requested Jesus to send the people away to find food and lodging. In reply Jesus tells them "You give them something to eat,"

The Apostles were taken aback. They knew that they had only five loaves of bread, a very limited supply in that desert place. Jesus ordered them to bring what they had. He took the bread and blessed it, broke it and gave it to the Apostles to feed the multitude. This is the miraculous feeding of the five thousand.

The Apostles and our Lord had preached that the Kingdom of God had come, with the incarnation of the Son of God. He is the Messiah and the healing and other miracles were Signs of the Kingdom. ( Lk 7:17 and 4:18.) Jesus himself declared this in the Synagogue in Capernaum by reading from the prophet Isaiah (60:1)

Our mission is to preach the Gospel, which is Jesus Christ the Crucified and the Risen Lord. He is our Lord and savior. He was sent by God to bring life and salvation to us (Jn.3:16) We have to feed the hungry and the poor among us, to sustain their physical life. We also have a responsibility to nurture their and our own spiritual life. How are we to do this?

We are not to be satisfied by our social and charitable work alone. We have to bring the presence of the Living Lord to every one around us.

How do we do this?

We experience His presence with us when we perceive Him in the bread and the wine which we offer to Him in Holy Qurbana, and when it is blessed and consecrated as He did in Bethsaida. We very often forget that we come to meet our Lord, when we assemble at the church. We have to see Him with our eye of faith and imagination, when the celebrant together with us celebrate the Holy Qurbana. It is his banquet. It is the Lord's supper. So we meet him in the Liturgy. We listen to Him and we are fed by Him. He is the bread of life. As we feed on Him we receive life. With that abundant life, as He abides in us we have to be Christ bearers to others around us.

But it is pathetic that we go to see the Qurbana, we are very often onlookers rather than participants. It is high time we change our attitude about the Lord's supper. We are sick, as St. Paul reminded the Corinthians, many of us are even dead. We need Him and His healing. He is ready. He knocks at the door of your heart. Are we ready to open and allow Him to reside in us?

Then we will shine as light and others around us will glorify God by seeing our good example. The Lord invites us to come and taste Him and live. Let us attract others to approach Him and accept Him as their Lord and Master. Then we are being obedient to our Lord when He tells us "You give them to eat."

See Also:

Sermons and Bible Commentaries for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost

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