Never Be Discouraged – Father Peter Patrick’s Homily for August 2, 2015

Photograph of Father Peter PatrickEucharist is the food for the disciples. Jesus brings His Body where it is needed. He brings himself to us, to satisfy our spiritual needs.  Spiritual poverty is worse than material poverty. In last Sunday’s Gospel, we heard about Jesus feeding the 5000 people and today, they are looking for him so that they can be fed.

In Jesus’ society, many people lived on a subsistence level. If the head of the family did not work that day, there would be no dinner on the table that evening. Can you imagine the joy and relief that a steady supply of bread would bring? We can understand why people were caught up in the sign of the bread and did not look beyond it to appreciate what was being revealed.

Neither the disciples nor the crowds that followed or gathered around Jesus understood automatically his true identity and the purpose of his mission. Though his miracles were only external “signs” that pointed to another inner meaning (usually a spiritual one), they could not look beyond the external signs. Actually, last Sunday’s multiplication of loaves was a sign of Jesus’ desire to feed their spirit with God or God’s divine life. But they could not get it exactly.

For us gathered here, we are hungry and thirsty for Jesus who is the real spiritual food and drink. Since the real and spiritual bread (food) that comes down from heaven is Jesus himself, he can satisfy the spiritual hunger and thirst of those who approach him in faith. Then the question arises: where do we want Jesus to touch us so that we can be fully satisfied?

I would like to give an example of a person whom we can relate with so that we can understand the need of spiritual satisfaction. Tom Phillips at the age of 40 was the president of the largest company in the state of Massachusetts. He had a lovely family and everything needed to make one comfortable in life, but he was not happy. Something was missing from his life, but he didn’t know what it was.

On a business trip to New York, something happened to him. Tom Phillips had a religious experience that changed him forever. He said; “I saw what was missing from my life; that is Jesus Christ. I hadn’t turned my life over to him.” That night Tom’s life changed in a way that brought him a happiness he never dreamed existed. Sometimes in our spiritual life we are like Tom; we have everything, but we are not happy.

Tom Phillips shared his conversion story with a close friend who was going through the same spiritual hunger and changed, too. And he said, “I prayed my first real prayer.  It went like this: ‘God, I don’t know how to find you, but I’m going to try! I’m not much the way I am now, but somehow, I want to give myself to you. Take me!’”

My brothers and sisters we are in the right place. We have come to be fed spiritually. Never be discouraged. We just need to surrender ourselves to Jesus and we say like Tom Phillips’ friend, “Lord fill me, take me!”

One thought on “Never Be Discouraged – Father Peter Patrick’s Homily for August 2, 2015

  1. It’s true we often miss the point until we welcome the Holy Spirit who in his own way leads us to the truth. Thanks for the homily. “Our hearts are restless untill they rest in you oh Lord”

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