Father Rodney Torbic

July 9 / 22, 2018

The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Mt. 14:14-22

And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick. And when it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto Him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to Me. And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children. And straightway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. (KJV)

The present Gospel gives a lesson in the expansive powers of the Lord God. Believers need to assess if personal views held about God are too minimal and confining.

The disciples learned the Lord Jesus Christ had greater capabilities than imagined. The disciples felt the existing amount of food was inadequate. The disciples learned Christ could multiply minimal resources.

The miraculous works of God are well documented. Believers benefit by looking at the evidence of the miraculous works of God. The evidence is plentiful and readily available.

Small seeds planted in a garden produce crops to feed plenty of people. Just as small seeds can bring great crops, small amounts of faith well applied can bring great results.

The Lord Jesus Christ said: “If you have the faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Mt. 17:20)

Great changes take place when Jesus is the foundation and goal of the effort. When individuals draw closer to Christ, life is increasingly better. Jesus makes a decided difference in each life devoted to Him.

When individuals keep their lives focused on Christ, differences become noticeable. Baptism is the first full commitment to Christ. The whole person is consecrated for Christ at Baptism.

The commitment to Christ made at Baptism requires renewal in the remaining years of life. Holy Confession and Holy Communion enable believers to remain united with Christ.

Parents have a standing directive from Christ to bring their children to Him Jesus said: “Let the little children come to Me and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 19:14)

Children cannot come to the Lord Jesus Christ by themselves. Parents must bring them. Parents have the responsibility to bring their children to Christ. Learning from God in His Holy Church is the best course of action for parents.

Action was necessary by the disciples for the fish and bread to be multiplied. The disciples had a role in the miracle that was to occur. Christians today have a role in the miracles continuing to occur.

The disciples distributed the multiplied bread and fish to the multitude of people present. The miracle of multiplying the bread and fish became a memorable experience for the disciples. Christ’s miracles change lives forever.

Individuals with lives changed by Christ remember the experience. The Holy Apostle Paul changed from being a persecutor of Christ to being a leading apostle. The change in Paul took place by the direct intervention of Christ. (Acts 9:1-20)

The healing of the man born blind is the example of another miracle by the direct intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Jn. 9:1-38) The world changes due to the miracles of Christ.

The world continues to change and improve as knowledge of the miracles of Christ is spread to others. Information of the miracles of Christ performed during Jesus’ earthly life has been transmitted through the centuries.

The proclamation of the Holy Gospel in God’s Holy Church has been primary in the spreading of this information. Great joy is experienced when Jesus performs miracles. Spirits are lifted.

Newness is experienced when miracles occur. Horizons and expectations change. Any residual of depression is vanquished. The might and majesty of God becomes increasingly apparent with the increased knowledge of each miracle.

Not only did Jesus feed the multitude with the small amount of bread and fish. Twelve baskets of food fragments remained. Jesus demonstrated that He can transform situations. Jesus proved that He can make all things new. (Rev. 21:5)

The current Gospel provides evidence for believers to look to God with great faith. The present Gospel message is reason for hope to exist and endure in situations which seem bleak.

The Gospel message is reason to praise and give thanks to God. The miracles of Jesus are a framework and foundation for viewing the world. The volume of people Jesus fed challenges the minds of shallow and doubting thinkers.

Individuals putting their full faith and trust in Christ expect miracles. Serious believers know from personal experience that trust in Christ is well founded and never cause for disappointment.

July 9 / 22, 2018
The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost.
Holy Pancratius.
St. Theodore.
New-martyrs of Glamoch and Kulen-Vakuf.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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