Monday, August 1, 2016
Reflection: Matthew 14:13-21
Monday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time - Matthew 14:13-21
Today in the Gospel, Jesus received devastating news. He heard that his beloved cousin, John, had been brutally beheaded. In the wake of this news, Jesus needed time to be alone to absorb this news and begin to grieve for his dear friend.
Jesus got into a boat and withdrew to a deserted place. However, his time for grieving was short-lived. The crowd of people followed him and arrived there before him. I wonder if Jesus was tempted to start rowing to find another place where he could be alone? Matthew writes “Jesus’ heart was moved with pity for the crowd.” Jesus got out of the boat and ministered to the people. He healed all those who yearned to be whole again.
As evening drew near, the disciples realized that many had not brought any food to eat. They were concerned for the people, but they did not know what to do. They went to Jesus and told him to send the people away to the towns where they could buy food. However, Jesus instructed his disciples to feed the crowd. His disciples immediately protested. They said: “We only have two fish and five loaves of bread. This small amount of food will never be enough for this huge crowd.”
Jesus, however, was not disturbed or worried. He told his disciples to bring the fish and the bread to him. Then he instructed the crowd of people to sit down on the grass. I wonder what the disciples were thinking as they gathered the food? Did they think Jesus was crazy or were they anticipating another miracle?
Jesus took the bread and the fish and he blessed them. He then gave the bread and the fish to his disciples and instructed them to distribute the food to the people. They did so. And as we know, everyone was well fed and there were quite a few baskets of leftovers.
Do you ever get concerned that you may not have “enough” for what seems to be needed? It may not be enough money, energy, time, love, appreciation or ___________ (you fill in the blank). These are the times when we need to go to Jesus and ask him to supply us with what we truly need. Jesus will give us what we need; however, it may not be exactly what we asked for. At these times, will we trust that Jesus is supplying us with “the loaves and fishes” that we need? Or will we complain because Jesus has disappointed us?
Today, may we trust Jesus to gift us with everything we need at this time. May we remember to thank Him for the gifts, graces, and challenges) that we receive today! Jesus is with us!