Wednesday, December 4, 2013
"God gives, but man must open his hand."
'I have never worried about our temporal affairs, and I have seen by experience that God has always provided for us. When we were two, Providence provided enough for two; for four when we were four; and when our number increased the needs of all were supplied, thus verifying the divine promise: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. vi. 33.) "Be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on." (Matt. vi. 25.)' - St. Paul of the Cross
Gospel Text: (Mt 15,29-37):
Jesus went to the shore of Lake Galilee, and then went up into the hills where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the dumb, the blind, the lame, the crippled, and many with other infirmities. The people carried them to the feet of Jesus, and he healed them. All were astonished when they saw the dumb speaking, the lame walking, the crippled healed and the blind able to see; so they glorified the God of Israel.
Jesus called his disciples and said to them, «I am filled with compassion for these people; they have already followed me for three days and now have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away fasting, or they may faint on the way». His disciples said to him, «And where shall we find enough bread in this wilderness to feed such a crowd?». Jesus said to them, «How many loaves do you have?». They answered, «Seven, and a few small fish». So Jesus ordered the people to sit on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the small fish and gave thanks to God. He broke them and gave them to his disciples, who distributed them to the people.
They all ate and were satisfied, and the leftover broken pieces filled seven wicker baskets.
What an odd story the gospel is today. These people have been following Jesus for three days, and in that span of time have had nothing to eat. Their desire to be with Jesus has overcome even their basic desire for food. They follow after Jesus with reckless abandon, at great personal cost to themselves. These people must be crazy. Or are they?
Perhaps for us this should be a reality check. How much do we desire to follow Jesus? Do we desire him enough to seek him even when we are hungry? Busy? Tired? What kind of things are we willing to give up in order to follow Jesus? What kind of things aren’t we willing to give up?
If this story tells us anything, it is that Jesus will provide for us. If we are willing to make sacrifices to go where Jesus may be leading, he won’t forget us, he won’t allow us to perish in pursuit of him. Jesus will give us what we need to carry on after him. He feeds the crowds out of just seven loafs and two fish. Imagine what he can do with the small amount we have to offer. Our path may not be easy, and will probably be wrought with a certain amount of suffering, but it will not be in vain. Jesus will lead us to heaven if we are willing to follow him above every other desire.
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 5:45 AM