18th Sunday – Year A



Isaiah 55:1-3—The Messianic Banquet

  1. The Banquet of Salvation: Whereas we have such economic & calculating relationships with each other, God is utterly gratuitous in His relationship to us.
  2. Thirsty and Hungry: free “water,” “bread,” and “wine”! (55:1)
  3. Earthly Bread: “does not satisfy” (55:2)
  4. Messianic Covenant: “my surefast, sure love for David” (55:3; cf. 2 Samuel 7)

In the first reading the writer of this part of the Book of Isaiah is telling the Jewish people who are still in captivity in Babylon that when they return home to their promised land, it will be a land of prosperity. This is indicated by the expression “a land flowing with milk and honey”. And I am sure that when they finally did return they were most happy to be able to do so. Now they were determined to live according to God’s laws. God was taking care of their material needs just as Jesus did for those people who had followed him out into the deserted area.

Psalm 145—You Give Their Food in Due Season

  1. Generosity: “you give them their food in due season”; “you open your hand” (v. 15-16)

Romans 8:35, 37-39

  • For Paul, these weren’t just nice words.
  • This passage is one of the most powerful statements of faith in the New Testament. Paul Tillich, Protestant theologian. While lying in a trench in WW1, with mortals & shells falling around him, he found incomparable comfort in this passage. Absolutely nothing & no one can separate me from God’s love. Mortal sin, in our freedom, can say no. But from God’s side, nothing can separate us. How did Paul know this? Paul knows this personally!
  • Paul gives 2 key points: (1) suffering does not mean that you have been separated from the love of God; (2) spiritual battles does not mean that you have been abandoned by god.

Matthew 14:31-21—Jesus is Greater than Elisha

  1. Lonely Place: traditional site on northwestern shore of Sea of Galilee (et-Tabghah)
  2. The New Elisha: “You give them something to eat” (14:16)

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