This is my homily for 29 July 2012 (Sunday). I am a Catholic chaplain in Teaneck at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) campus and for the FDU Newman Catholic Association. We celebrate Catholic Mass - during Fall and Spring semester - every Sunday Evening (7:00 p.m.) at the Interfaith Chapel, 842 River Road, Teaneck, NJ. We resume Sunday August 26, 2012.
[2 Kings 4:42-44] [Salmo 145] [Efesios 4:1-6] [+ John 6:1-15]
[_01] Attraction is an important aspect of this multiplication miracle in this Sunday’s Gospel. Jesus feeds the crowd who is attracted to him, feeds the crowd who desires to see him.
So important is this miracle that is literally in all the papers, all 4 Gospels report the miracle. And, it is an important one for us to understand. We learn that…
- HUNGER is what the Lord wants to satisfy - physically & spiritually.
- ATTRACTION to Jesus means that we come to as we are … even EXHAUSTED / IMPOVERISHED / ANXIOUS or under stress. No fee for admission.
[_02_] In the Gospel, noticing that it would take 200 days wages (over 6 months salary) to feed this crowd, we see that there is both HUNGER and ATTRACTION among the people. Philip the Apostle is not sure what what to do … is this a hunger game? A competition?
[_03_] Recently, we have witnessed another attraction and competition
Starting this weekend in London, the 2012 Olympic athletes from 204 countries hope to gain medals - Gold, Silver, Bronze.
However, a different score (a non medal event) is being kept but by a small group of countries, including – for example - South Korea, Spain, the U.S., Australia, Greece, China.
And, is not Great Britain also in this group, hoping the country has outperformed the others in the quality of the Friday night-time opening ceremonies with lights, dancers, fireworks, and philharmonics.
London (the Olympic host) is vying for attention and hoping to out-do Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008. We shall see…
The opening ceremonies, then, are both a competition between countries and competition for our attention. It’s an attraction.
[_04_] To what and for what – are we attracted? Hungry?
Writing about relationships – including marriage and love between a man and a woman – Pope John Paul II wrote about the way in which God made us to love and be loved by others.
Love leads to hunger, desire within us for affection, affirmation, closeness, support, satisfaction.
Pope John Paul writes that this attraction, leading to love, may also surprise the persons involved.
1 person is attracted to another – but the attraction often happens as a surprise to the man or the woman. This attraction – unlike the 2012 light show in London – is not an engineering / science project:
John Paul II writes:
“Feelings arise spontaneously – the attraction which one person feels towards another often begins suddenly and unexpectedly … this reaction is, in effect, “blind.” 
Love – or its origins – may be in a sense hidden, obscure … or “love is blind”, we say.
And, while / though only some relationships are truly love at first sight, first impressions are important. The opening ceremonies between two people are usually somehow memorable and meaningful.
[_05_] Hunger and attraction are important to the Good News this Sunday.
Hunger makes the attraction stronger, the desire of the crowd to stay with Jesus.
[_06_] Coming to the Lord, hungry, we profess that he will feed us, to provide for what we need, even when we are tired and hungry.
Consider that it takes precious energy to examine our lives, to repent, to confess our sins.
Admitting we are wrong may leave us hungrier. This also takes courage, fortitude.
In our relationships, also, we are called not only to pursue our attractions and take what we desire … but to give what we can and share the love – and goodness - which God can multiply in our lives.
To see the good in myself and in that of the other person. The good which God has made.
There is enough to go around, to satisfy the hungry crowd.[_fin_]