Sunday Scripture Readings for Aug. 3, 2014 Print E-mail
Written by Sharon K. Perkins   
Scripture Readings
Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014
Eighteenth Sunday
in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 55:1-3
Psalm 145:8-9, 15-18
Romans 8:35, 37-39
Matthew 14:13-21

I enjoy watching little children at petting zoos as they try to get close enough to an animal to actually pet it.

When our own children were small, our neighborhood walks ended at a pasture with a lone horse. Although the kids desperately wanted to pet him, he was perfectly content to graze at a distance.

So they developed a strategy with a couple of carrots thrust through the fence. They tried to entice him by calling and waving the bait, but the suspicious horse wasn't buying it. Finally, as they held still and waited quietly, the horse inched close enough to sniff at the carrots and then try a bite before skittering away. The children were ecstatic.

Thereafter, we visited the pasture often, more carrots in hand, until the day when the horse (who now had learned that carrots were far tastier than grass) would hurry over to the fence as soon as he saw us. The three youngsters could now pet his velvety nose as he nibbled trustingly, satisfying both horse and humans and building a new friendship.

In today's reading from Isaiah, the Lord invites his people to come closer by enticing them with the "rich fare" of a covenant relationship -- anything short of that fails to satisfy. Even with the psalmist's assurance that God opens his hand and satisfies "the desire of every living thing," we know from Israel's history that their trust in God did not come easily and required frequent renewal.

In the Gospel, Jesus attracted large crowds of people who sought healing for their diseases but who also were hungry for something more. Recognizing both their physical and spiritual hungers and unwilling to send them elsewhere, he provided an abundance of bread and fish. There was "no need for them to go away," Matthew notes. "They all ate and were satisfied."

The miracle of the loaves foreshadowed a far greater gift of food -- Jesus' own body and blood, bought at great price to himself but given without price for the life of the world.

By this food, God draws us near to himself, satisfies our deepest hungers, and strengthens the bond of love from which nothing can separate us, according to St. Paul. We need only come, trustingly, to his outstretched hand.

This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.


Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
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Scripture readings from the United States Conference
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Pope's Prayer Intentions: July Print E-mail
July General Intention

Sports. That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.

July Mission Intention
Lay Missionaries. That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.
Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2014.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Wednesday, January 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 29
Ascension Thursday
Friday, August 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Saturday, November 1
All Saints (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Monday, December 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Thursday, December 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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