Proper 13 (18) – Year A

August 2, 2026

Gospel Lectionary Text

Matthew 14:13-21

14:13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.

14:14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.

14:15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves."

14:16 Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat."

14:17 They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish."

14:18 And he said, "Bring them here to me."

14:19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

14:20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.

14:21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.


Word from Below Reflections

Gracious Plenty

Jesus says, Give them to me. He takes, blesses, breaks, gives. And all ate and were filled. They even had leftovers.

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What You Have

The desert isn’t just a site for prayer. It’s the wilderness. It’s not safe. It’s a place we’ve all been. This pandemic is as disorienting as any desert. Grief is a wilderness. Sometimes the desert just grows up around us for no apparent reason at all. Depression is like that. We have all been to...

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Eucharist and Abundance

As we drew close to the church building, we noticed a structure in very ill repair. Windows were broken, doors unable to close properly, large stains adorned rugs and ceilings, and the arresting smell of strong body odor pierced our senses. We walked through the hallway toward the main worship space.

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A Change of Heart for Jesus?

A disturbing reply to a desperate woman.

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Lavish For Whom?

The fourteenth chapter of Matthew’s gospel tells of two lavish feasts, back to back.

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Understanding the Bible anew through the Mimetic Theory of René Girard.

Weekly Homily by James Alison