Nothing Can Separate Us – Fr. Tom Tank

Fr. Tom Tank’s Homily August 2, 2020

“Today once again we have that incident, that event of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes where Jesus takes that which is so minimal, those five loaves and a couple fish and feeds well over 5,000 people with them and of course that is an indication of the coming of the Messiah that that is that initial fulfillment of the messianic banquet that was promised in the Old Testament that we saw in our first reading today that Jesus has an abundance of food there for them in fact so much that they want to make him king (that’s later on) but they want to make him king because he provides for their physical needs, but really the multiplication of the loaves and fishes points to something deeper and something more abiding and something more lasting and that is that it points to the Eucharist itself for it says that Jesus took the loaves and the fish and blessed them and broke them and gave them, words that obviously refer to the Last Supper where Jesus gives us not the food for our body, but the food for our soul. The deepest food that we need is the gift of love. We all need love. That’s the fundamental human need that we have in the depths of our soul and Jesus says that he gives us his love, his presence in every Eucharist. He comes to us in every Eucharist in order that we might be embraced by his personal love for us. He comes to us personally not just as in a sense the whole group (obviously he does come to the whole group) but he comes to us personally because he wants to know of his personal love for each and every one of us and that is the beautiful mystery of the Eucharist that we have the privilege in sharing in that beautiful gift of Christ himself.

St. Paul reminds us that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Nothing can separate us. God always loves us. We don’t have to earn his love. We only have to accept it and that’s what Paul doesn’t mention. The only thing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus is our self that we can choose not to welcome that love into our own lives and what a tragedy that would be and so how privileged we are that we have that gift of faith and that gift of opportunity of experiencing that true presence of Christ within the Eucharist for that is the most wonderful gift that we have, but every Eucharist itself points to something beyond. Every Eucharist points to the fullness of the messianic banquet and that is the banquet of Heaven that is the banquet of God’s eternal unending love. Every Mass we celebrate invites us to enter into eternity where time and eternity come together within the Eucharist and we are gathered with the choirs of angels and Saints in Heaven with Christ himself in offering praise to the Father and so every Eucharist reminds us of that eternal messianic banquet that Christ has gained for us through his death and his resurrection. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. God’s love is so abundant and God promises that love not only for this life, but for all eternity.”