17th  Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 29/7/2018 - Gospel: Jn 6:1-15
A prisoner for the Lord
Correctional services aim to reform deviational behaviours of a prisoner. The reform takes place in the form of restriction of  movements. At an institution there are set times for inmates such as time to wake up, do washing and exercise and feed and bed time. Inmates respond to the bell of the changes and act accordingly and learn the routine of life. There are signs of good performance but not sure of significant change made from the inside, the inner life of mind and heart of a person.
Prisoner for the Lord doesn't mean that one is being confined in an established institution. It means that one volunteers to do it for the Lord, putting faith and love in actions for Jesus. There are no wardens to observe one's behaviours but rather volunteering to correct oneself, not by fear of the laws, but by the fear of not loving God enough.
According to St Paul to the Ephesians 4,1-6; a prisoner for the Lord doesn't do it for a short period of time but it is a lifetime of faithful commitment. It is our vocation to love God and love our neighbour. Christians are called to live a life of worthiness. It doesn't mean that we are worthy before the Lord but rather God calls us and makes us worthy by the love of God. When we

Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience.

They are used in the service of God and God will make us worthy and precious. We are called to unite into the Body of Christ and through Christ, God's love and grace will flow into our lives and make us worthy before the Lord. We attain the divine life, to be brothers and sisters in Christ and heirs of the kingdom, and that we will inherit all what Christ has gained for us through his passion and triumph resurrection.

We are united in faith Jesus offered. We are united in the service we have for one another and we are united in the Spirit. When we follow the guidance of God's Spirit we are certainly free from all deviational behaviours because the Spirit of God set us free. The Spirit helps us to call God our Father and the Spirit empowers us to bear with one another. The Spirit makes us gentle, patient and humble. The Spirit helps us to realize that everything we have comes from God. Our life is oriented on oneself no more but God alone who is the source of our wisdom, strength and goal in life.

To serve another means to put God's gifts given to us into actions, to make God's love real and relevant to the life of the people. In the Gospel Jesus revealed his power over the natural laws by feeding the five thousand from barely five loaves and two fish.  The apostles had nothing to do with it except to follow Jesus' instructions. They couldn't see how the child's lunch could be of help. By feeding the crowd Jesus let them know that God had the power to magnify our little contribution, weakness to be massive and strong. The feeding showed that Jesus is able to provide even when our resources are limited. God can make our humble and gentle service to be great for others.