Posted: 04 Aug 2013 06:30 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matt 14:13-21
Reflection: Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” (vs. 16)
The challenge thrown back at the dedicated disciples to feed the multitude, that too in a lonely place, well acknowledged by these same dedicated disciples, can be stupefying.
How can the Lord ask them to feed the multitude when they have, in the first place, just expressed to the Lord that it is a god-forsaken place?
God is more powerfully present where we least expect him; a lonely place.
Likewise in life’s situation; when we are weak that Christ is strong and when we are completely stripped that God is powerfully at work in us.
He opts for the desert, he opts for the weak and downtrodden, he opts for that which is least and rejected by men.
What we give up on is what the Lord accepts to work on.
The scripture reveals the compassionate action of God towards the poor and the rejected of society.
St Paul reveals this to us in a beautiful way when he says:
“For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are.” 1 Cor 1:26-28
The next time we are lonely or rejected or feel unwanted, humiliated and isolated by men, which could include the so called followers of Christ, then we need not be dejected but can be rest assured that we have a God who, in the sending of his Son Jesus, proves to us that he cares and is with us.
Prayer: Lord, you teach us that in our darkness there is no darkness with you with us.
DD = Dedicated Discipleship: Come grow in the Lord with us