Father John Doyle, LC
At that time:
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on
the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came
to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the
deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them
at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds
were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed
made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able
to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.
Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved
with pity for the crowd, for they have been
with me now for three days and have nothing
to eat. I do not want to send them away
hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.”
The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get
enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such
a crowd?” Jesus said to them, “How many loaves
do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the
ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to
the disciples, who in turn gave them to the
crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up
the fragments left over–seven baskets full.
Lord Jesus, I now turn confidently to you, who
are my friend and savior. You are always watching over
me and protecting me, whether I’m mindful of you
or not. Thank you. I love you, and I’m grateful
for these moments to refresh myself in your presence.
Petition: My Jesus, give me an unshakeable confidence in
your unconditional love.
1. Jesus on the Mountain: Jesus is
the focal point of history and of all human
aspirations. Even when he goes to out-of-the-way places, as
is the case in this Gospel passage, he is sought
after. He strides by the Sea of Galilee and
scales up the mountain, and all humanity seeks him
out. He doesn’t interrogate them about their past or condemn
them for their sins. He simply gives to each
what he or she needs: to the blind, sight;
to the mute, the gift of speech; to the deaf,
hearing. Imagine for a moment this poor mass of
humanity around the Master. Place yourself with them. Your
turn comes, and suddenly it is as if the crowd
disappears and you are alone with Jesus. He looks
into your eyes with loving concern and asks what
you are seeking––even though he already knows it. My Jesus,
it is you that I seek. Heal me, and
do not let any sin separate me from you today.
“They Have Nothing to Eat.” Love is not always
very practical. Jesus’ heart is moved with compassion for all
those who have sought him out. He knows the
sacrifices that they have made in searching him out,
and he is not going to leave them disappointed. The
disciples saw only the practical problem, but in his
charity towards his neighbor, Jesus all but ignores it.
What can I learn from Christ’s attitude? Will I ever
be let down or not be satisfied if I
seek Christ with a sincere heart?
3. The Bread of Life:
The miracle that Jesus works in multiplying the loaves
is a prelude to an even greater miracle he
plans to bring about. Jesus knows the longings of our
hearts, and he knows that material food has its
limits, even when it is abundant. St Augustine states,
“You made us for yourself, Oh Lord, and our hearts
are restless until they rest in you.” How can
I not trust that Jesus will always provide for what
I truly need, after his lowering himself to appear
as bread so that we can feed on him
and be satisfied?
Conversation with Christ: My Jesus,
I have a very wayward heart. I know that
you are the only one who can fulfill the longing
of my soul; yet so often I put my
confidence in the fleeting things of this world instead.
Reassure my heart that you will always provide for me
if I put all my trust in you. Keep
me going up the mountain towards your heavenly Kingdom, where
you will be all in all.
I will pause sometime during the day––perhaps before lunch––and make
a spiritual communion by inviting Christ into my heart.
I will thank him for the gift of himself
in the blessed Eucharist and renew my confidence in him.