Gospel reflections – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

2 August 2020

Matthew 14: 13-21 KENYANG!
“They all ate and were satisfied.”

What do you say after a hearty meal when you, with your bloated tummy, feel so full?  Malaysians say “kenyang”.  Chinese say “bao”.  Bidayuh use the word “busuah”.  For us Filipinos, we say “busog”.  Although I know of one Pinoy, when he feels full, instead of “busog”, what he says is “Penge pa po” (May I have some more).  Oh no!  His tummy must be …..! Why are you all now looking at me and my tummy?

But you know what? I think that guy has a point….
Have you ever felt like you still want some more even if you already have eaten a lot?

Which leads me to really believe in this saying…
“Kung gusto mong MABUSOG, MAMBUSOG ka.”
You wanna feel KENYANG? Make somebody feel KANYANG.

Have you ever experienced this? 

You eat and eat and eat, and deep inside, a part of you still feel like there’s something still missing.

I remember when I was still a boy, I so enjoyed eating ice cream.  But always when I eat ice cream with my siblings, when daddy would bring home a gallon of Magnolia (Double Dutch was my favorite), I end up still wanting to have more.  But unfortunately, a gallon of ice cream evaporates quickly in our family.

And so one time I decided to save my school allowance so that I could secretly buy a half-gallon of ice cream and secretly eat all of it all by myself.  And I did.  I told myself then, “This is it!  The moment for self-indulgence.  Hehe.”  But guess what… I did not really feel satisfied.  It is like I miss having “rivals”…. nay, “partners” in eating ice cream.  So?  I shared the rest of my ice cream with my siblings.  Oh yes, as usual, it evaporated so quickly… but the joy of sharing ice cream with them up to now has never evaporated in my memory.

To eat alone is nice.  But to eat with others, or better still, to feed others is far far more nicer.

I am sure you all have experiences similar to this. 

To the mommies there… remember when you cooked for your family?  You were cooking while you were sweating… all for your family.  That is why your ‘sweet and sour’ dish turned more of ‘sweat and sour’ instead.  And when they were all enjoying what you cooked and your child asks you, “Mommy, why are you not eating?  It was you who cooked this so well, so please eat well too.”  But to this you honestly replied, “Anak, just to see you all nourished and full makes me feel full already.”  KENYANG!

To the daddies there… remember when you were with your boy and you bought him hotdog sandwich?  You did not yourself eat but it seemed you felt happier than your son.  And that moment in that park outside the church when you asked your boy to buy flowers from that poor ‘sampaguita’ vendor and told him to tell the girl-vendor to keep the change, remember?  You did not just feed the girl with a little income; you more so fed your boy the value of generosity and kindness.  And you did feel so KENYANG!

To the students there… I hope one of the things you so miss now that learning is all on-line… aside from meeting your crush… is the sharing of snacks and lunch you do with your classmates and close friends.  You share your ‘baon’, the food prepared by your mommy, not because it is veggie and you do not like vegetables, but because you simply feel happy sharing food to others, is it not?  KENYANG!

I know one middle-manager in a little company who often bakes cakes and muffins and goes to the office sharing these to her office-mates.  If only I have a company of my own, I would surely hire her ASAP.  She makes others KENYANG!

I know of a priest who very often buys donuts for his co-priests and his employees.  For him, they are all his family.  And I know for sure he feels so KENYANG doing so!

Remember your own moment… or moments… too?  When you shared what you have with somebody?  When you fed a friend, a relative, your family, or even a stranger actually?  You did feel sooo KENYANG, absolutely!

And guys, we are not only talking about food for the body here.  A lot of people out there are hungry not just for food but for attention, kindness, appreciation, support, companionship, compassion, help in so many many forms.  It would mean a lot if somebody would feed them.  Would you?

Especially now when so many out there are hungry.  Because of this pandemic and many other factors that go with it… like poverty, insecurities, unemployment, dirty politics, depression, sadness etc… a lot are going through different kinds of hunger.  It means a lot if somebody would feed them.  Would you?

You wanna feel KENYANG? Make somebody feel KENYANG.

In his recent Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis has urged the youth to show love to the elderly using their “inventiveness of love”.  Especially now when feeling lonely is at an all-time high, he invites us to send “hugs” to the elderly in various creative and caring ways… like having video chats, phone calls and text messaging with our grannies, or even visiting them in person while keeping all SOPs, and in many other loving and lovely ways.  #sendyourhugs … and we here in Kuching Archdiocese are saying yes to our Pope’s call.  Would you too?

I am so eager to finish and post this, my Sunday reflection, so that I can afterwards call my own daddy.  Of all the elderly, he is the one dearest to me.  I am gonna hug him via phone call.  I am gonna feed him with my love, gratitude and concern (especially as it will be his birthday soon).  I am gonna make him feel KENYANG.  I will not be surprised if by doing so I would feel KENYANG more so.

And I intend to do this and some things like this to EVERYBODY out there.  SO HELP ME GOD!

Oh yes, I do need to add that very important and essential line – “So help me God!”

How can I make others feel KENYANG if I myself cannot fully fill myself?
How can I make others feel KENYANG if all I have are five loaves of bread and two pieces of fish?
Really, how can I, all by myself, fill someone to the full?

How can I? I CANNOT!
But GOD CAN. And ONLY GOD CAN. Only God can and does fill everyone’s hunger.
…. All I need to do is offer Him the little I have, the little I can. He will surely then give His blessing and would ask me to share and share and share, to not just eat but feed. Then and only then will this scripture come true… “They all ate and were satisfied.” KENYANG!

Who is that someone in your life right now who is hungry? So hungry, probably….
What is he/she so hungry for? Hungry for God, actually…
Would you be there to feed him/her? Never easy…
Guess what? God would, but He is asking help from you. Would you… freely and fully?

Inspired by today’s Gospel, may this be our prayer…
“Lord, I wanna offer this little that I have, this little that I can.
Bless this, bless me please.
May I be your conduit in blessing them, my co-hungry brethren.
I wanna feed them, Lord, with You.
Not just with food, but with You.
Not just You feeding them too, but me feeding them You.”

You wanna feel KENYANG? Make somebody feel KENYANG.

So help us, God!

PS: Kuching Archdiocesan Youth Commission (in its Facebook page) is launching soon (this August 6) its project “LAKSA for our JIWA” (food for our soul) …. Wanna be part of it? See you in our Fb ☺.
May it be our little way of feeding the hungry. So help us God!

Fr Ramon Borja, SDB
Commission for Youth


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