In his homily delivered on the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said that we ought to give thanks to God for the gifts received and help, in our turn, those in need.
The Patriarch of Romania offered his reflections on the Gospel passage from Matthew 14:14-22 read during the Divine Liturgy celebrated July 30 at the St George chapel of his patriarchal residence.
His Beatitude noted that the main teaching of the Gospel reading is that man must first nurture his soul, and second his body. We should nourish our soul by hearing God’s word and by asking from Christ our spiritual and physical healing, he said.
Reflecting on the gospel reading, the Patriarch said that Christ highlights the difference between spiritual and physical food, but stresses the importance of the former.
Referring to the multiplication of the five loaves and the two fish, Patriarch Daniel stressed the example of compassion and mercifulness offered by our Saviour Jesus Christ.
He went on to speak about the Church’s philanthropic work saying that is stems from Christ’s Gospel of merciful love and from the Eucharistic Divine Liturgy. The patriarch pointed to the fact that early Christians used to bring to the Church food and clothing to be offered to the poor. Thus, the patriarch said, once with the Eucharistic Divine Liturgy developed the social philanthropy of the Church.
His Beatitude said that any gift we bring to the Church, regardless of how small or little it be, after receiving Christ’s blessing it becomes a great joy for many people.
The gifts we receive from God, the patriarch said, are a blessing and aim at developing communion in our society.
The abundant bread should not be thrown away, squandered, or neglected. It must be gathered, kept and used wisely. The Gospel teaches us to be careful and decent, the patriarch noted adding that we ought to cherish the gifts received from God.
Patriarch Daniel cautioned that faithful should pay attention to the environment, to keep it clean and beautiful, without throwing wastes anywhere. The Patriarch stressed that even in our relation to matter we should have a spiritual, rational and responsible attitude.
Ending his homily, the patriarch urged to first nurture our soul with spiritual gifts, and then offer food to our body. Let us ask for healing and forgiveness of sins, he said, and help all those who are in difficulty so that we can resemble the compassionate God.