(Note: this writer decided to give his reflections based on the following Sunday celebration (after the publication), hoping that it will help the readers to reflect on the Scriptural readings before they go to attend the Sunday Eucharistic Celebration.)
It is never bad to strive to look for “bread.” Material possessions and money are essential for all of us to enjoy that “decent living.” We were supposed to be stewards of the whole creation, and so, we can use anything around us in order that we may continue with our lives. It is normal for parents to look for a well-paying job just to assure themselves that their children will be able to reach their dreams in life. It is necessary, as parents, to turn God’s night into day because it is the vocation of parents to ensure their families with a bright future and work for that purpose no matter what it entails.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to ask for our “daily bread.” God knows we need to be nourished and He gave us all that we need for this purpose. In the multiplication of the bread, He fed the multitude who followed Him to listen to His words of life and for His miraculous healing. He fed them with bread, but what He is wanting to give us is more than mere bread that can alleviate our hunger. Christ wants us to partake to His Body as the real bread that gives us life.
We eat His body and accept Him in the Eucharistic celebration. The body of Christ that we receive in the Eucharist is the same body that was crucified on the cross during that first mass in Golgotha. Many people doubt the real presence of Christ in the form of bread and wine in the Eucharist and we believe its genuineness through the eyes of our faith. He wants us to partake of this life-giving food for us to sustain that grace and goodness of God in us. Our communion with Him is an assurance that we will be nourished by His body spiritually and make our faith in Him bear much fruit.
Most people today are unreasonably fighting with each other like wild animals because of the worldly understanding of the concept of bread. We look at bread as our riches and material possessions and we want a lot more of this bread. Our wanting in insatiable that we can even take the bread that is supposed to be for others even if we already have more than what we can take for a day. We want to store in our “barns” all kinds of bread and most of the time we do it very cleverly to be able to possess all those riches that can assure us of an extravagant lifestyle up to the end of time.
Materialism is so cunning that it can even penetrate and destroy the lives of people who were supposed to be anointed for the service of God. I must admit that even bishops and priests are victims of this too much wanting for money and riches. Most of these people started out as real servants and truly dedicated their lives to seeking out the lost sheep and bringing them back to the fold. But whatever happened along the way, some priests succeeded in turning their noble vocation and ministry to a mere profession and use it as a tool for personal gain and easy access to the generosity of other people. I do not know what happened to the kind of ministry that they had promised to fulfill… the kind of apostolate which was destined to lead and save the flock that had been entrusted to them. Now, they are robbing the people not only of their money and riches, but they are also destroying their faith and trust in God slowly. Most of these kinds have learned and may have even perfected the art of deceit and lies just to be able to siphon money from other people’s wallets.
We are members of the one Body of Christ. We are members of this One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Christ and established it firmly on the ground of love and service. It is my fervent wish that we can still remedy this “sinking ship” and bring it home by starting to act like siblings in helping one another mutually. We all have a role to play, and we need to do it fast lest we all sink into the deepest deep of materialism as designed by the father of lies.
I am aware that, indeed, it is hard to go against the tide of materialism in this world today. We may even be victims, too, and I know it will come to all of us in one way or another. True, we can be as sinful as the one whom we previously criticized, but it must not stop there. The decision to rise above these temptations and worldliness must never be lost because, if it happens, then we must be prepared to lose our lives forever in that state of damnation.
We may, for a time, succumb to this indistinguishable situation. However, let us be constant in our efforts to always try to do the right thing even if it looks like we have been left behind. Entrusting our lives to Christ is the key so we can stand up once again and follow Him in that road that led Him to the cross of suffering and self-denial. I believe, as St. John the Evangelist puts it: “He must increase, and we must decrease.” We are the Body of Christ, and our sickness can affect the whole and render it immobile because we refused to be healed. Let us, therefore, help one another combat this cancer of materialism so we can move forward in our efforts to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, our Lord.