Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Jul 29, 2020 | Gospel Reflections

 Mt. 14: 13-21

Sunday Reflection by Sister Mary Cluderay, SNDdeN

“May I be always close to You
Following all your ways, Lord”

I think these lines express the meaning and message of today’s Gospel. We begin with the news of the death of John the Baptist and Jesus’ decision to “withdraw by boat to a lonely place” where together with his disciples there will be a possibility of a quiet period of time. Even before they have reached their destination a large crowd has followed “on foot” ready to greet Jesus as he steps ashore.

Immediately Jesus reveals the very essence of his being namely –compassion: “Jesus took pity on them and healed the sick.” As evening comes we learn another great lesson. At the request of the Disciples that they should send the people away Jesus shows them and us that he will never send anyone away but rather keep everyone close to him. We learn that “there is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.” As the disciples say, “All we have with us is five loaves and two fish,” we can hear how they emphasize what seems to them like a hopeless situation. The end of the experience is a transformation. “They all eat as much as they wanted and the disciples collected the scraps remaining, twelve baskets full.” As the event unfolds, we see that Jesus asks his disciples to be his ministers as they distribute the food. Jesus is the central figure who in union with His Father raises his eyes to Heaven, says the blessing and breaks the loaves and gives them to his disciples for the distribution.

There is so much we learn from this event, especially as we live through the tragedies of the Pandemic. We have knowledge and experience of global injustices which bring famine, hunger, destitution. One writer expresses some of this anguish in these words: “The developed countries of the world “send away” those “who come looking for bread.”

Prayer: “God our Father,
our life is your gift. Guide our life’s journey, for only your love makes us whole, keep us strong in your love.


Matthew 14: 13-21


When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”

Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ” and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.

Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.

The Gospel of the Lord


Meet Sister Mary Cluderay, SNDdeN

Sister Mary was born in Leeds in 1930, the seventh child in a family of eight. The other children were all boys! She was a pupil in Notre Dame High School, Leeds from 1944-1948. She entered the Congregation on September 24th 1948 and made her First Vows in April 1951. In September she became a two-year Student in Our Lady’s College Mount Pleasant Liverpool and continued her studies for an additional three years in Liverpool University where she gained a B.A honours in General Studies. Her subjects were English, French, History and Latin. Subsequently she taught as an assistant Teacher in Notre Dame Schools in Northampton, Worth and Battersea. She became Head Teacher of Notre Dame High School, Norwich in 1968 and she retired in 1995. For a period of 6 years she worked with the National Health Department for Mental Health in Norwich. She then served as the Moderator in the Parbold Community.