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.
Introductory Prayer: 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.
Resolution: 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.