Today’s Gospel speaks of God’s desire to respond to our needs…
When Jesus received the news of John the Baptist’s death he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the people heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.
When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place, and the time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.’ But they answered ‘All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.’ ‘Bring them here to me’ he said. He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves handed them to his disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps remaining; twelve baskets full. Those who ate numbered about five thousand men, to say nothing of women and children.
So often people’s demands of us seem to come at just the wrong time for us to be able to deal with them.
Here Jesus wants/needs space for himself and the disciples to come to terms with the killing of John the Baptism. But at the sight of the crowd he sees their need too, and makes himself available to respond to it.
In our poverty we often are so constrained by knowledge of what we lack that we do not see the potential in even the little we have or uthe little we are.
Jesus does not have that problem, but clearly his disciples do!
- When did you last go through the ‘pain barrier’ for love of others?
- When did others last do the same for you?
Image is of carving on altar at Our Lady’s, St John’s Wood. Carved by Michael Clarke. Photograph (c) Allen Morris, 2007