14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 6/7)


A penguin was standing on the water’s edge when he looked up at an eagle soaring high above his head. He watched him with great admiration for a few moments and then looked down at his own flippers with frustration.

The penguin shuffled up to the tallest rock on the beach and flapped his wings vigorously. That looks so cool, I wish I could fly in the air like an eagle, he thought to himself before accepting reality, sliding into the sea and swimming away.

The eagle looked down and saw the penguin swimming gracefully in the water.

He watched him with similar admiration for a few moments and looked across at his own wings, wondering if they would work under water.

“That looks so cool, I wish I could fly in the water like a penguin,” he thought to himself, before accepting reality, catching another updraft and effortlessly soaring away into the distance.

Every now and then, I look at the talents and capabilities of others and wish that I was like them.

And my suspicion is that many of those I admire have others in their lives whom they envy.


The Readings of this Sunday show the pain of God and Jesus after they are being rejected. Do we reject them or accept them?


15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 13/14)


One Saturday night, a pastor was working late and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn’t answer the phone. The pastor let it ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn’t answer but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes. When he tried again, she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn’t answered before, and she said that it hadn’t rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry ways. The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which was the phone that he’d used that Saturday night. The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he’d called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn’t figure out what the man was talking about. Then the man said, “It rang and rang, but I didn’t answer.” The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he’d intended to call his wife. The man said, “That’s okay. Let me tell you, my story. You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, ‘God if you’re there, and you don’t want me to do this, give me a sign now.’ At that point, my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, ‘Almighty God’. I was afraid to answer!”

God has chosen people to go out and bring healing, but people didn’t want to be healed because they want to follow their own stubborn hearts. In the First Reading we come to know about the life of Prophet Amos who was a herdsman and called to prophesy to the house of Israel but didn’t want to heed as God called them “rebellious house” in the First Reading of last Sunday. There was a time when Israelites trusted more in the humans than God and Prophet Jeremiah have compared those people with the plant growing in the desert. However, he did believe that God has the people to heal “if you will save us, we will be saved and if you heal us we will be healed”.  The healing only comes if we listen and answer to his call who says, “come and see”.

 Do we come to him for healing?


16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 20/21)


Once upon time there was a hardworking man. Initially he believed in God and attributed his success to God. He became a successful businessman. But gradually as he acquired success, he became very proud. He now thought that his success was due to his hard work. He stopped praising God and even removed God’s statue from his house.  Once, during a discussion about God with some people, he said, “Who is God? It’s not due to him, that I am so much successful now. It’s all my hard work only. And if actually God is so powerful then he can kill me in five minutes from now. I challenge him.” Five minutes later, he laughed at God for he was still alive. But an old man got up and said, “If your son asks you to kill him with a gun, will you do that? God is like your Father, and he’ll never harm you.”

What a powerful story to understand the Sacred Scripture of this week. God feels for us and he loves us unconditionally because he “loved the world so much that he gave his only Begotten Son so that anyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life”. Once a mystic said “everyone wants to win but no one wants to taste defeat, but win is like a stone but loosing has the value of diamond” which means humility wins over proud. The humility will always help us to feel for other and help and support them, but pride will take us away from helping other people

St. Mother Teresa once said “Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given”.

Do we allow God and Jesus to feel to for us?


17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 27/28)


A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.

He wrote: “I’ve gone for 30 years now, and in that time, I have heard something like 3,000 sermons, but for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time, the preachers and priests are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all”. This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column.

Much to the delight of the editor, it went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: “I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!” When you are DOWN to nothing, God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible & receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical and our spiritual nourishment! IF YOU CANNOT SEE GOD IN ALL, YOU CANNOT SEE GOD AT ALL!

Today’s Gospel has few very interesting points for us to reflect upon:

  1. People are following him because they have seen “signs” is doing and want to see more.
  2. Jesus goes up to the mountain and sits there and sees a large crowd.
  3. Jesus asks Philip “where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” and answer of Philip is kind of disappointing “six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.”
  4. Andrew tells Jesus about a boy who has five barley loaves and two fish. Why would only this boy be carrying the food? Isn’t a strange?
  5. He fed people and collected 12 baskets of the fragment.
  6. Jesus has to flee from there as people are planning to make him king.
  7. He withdrew again to the mountain by himself.


Here Jesus looks after the physical hunger of these people who are following him but on the other hand people become greedy for the physical food only rather than having hunger for him. In the words of St. Mother Teresa “People are hungry for something more beautiful, for something greater than people round about can give. There is a great hunger for God in the world today. Everywhere there is much suffering, but there is also great hunger for God and love for each other. 

What kind of hunger do we have in our lives? 


Photos by Fr. Iqbal