Daily Reflection – Aug 1, 2016
Monday 1 August 2016
First Reading: Jeremiah 28:1-17
Teach me your laws, O Lord
Psalm 118(119):29, 43, 79-80, 95, 102
Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:13-21
Today’s Saint: St Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
He said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me,”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.
What can truly satisfy our deepest hunger and longing? Wherever Jesus went multitudes of people gathered to meet him – people from every part of society – rich and poor, professionals and laborers, even social outcasts and pagans. What drew them to Jesus? Were they simply curious or looking for a healing? Many were drawn to Jesus because they were hungry for God.
All the miracles that Jesus works in the Gospels reveal something about who he is in relation to God the Father. In feeding the 5,000 from a handful of loaves and fish, Jesus provides an insight into God’s ability to take what seems insignificant and magnify it to reveal his glory. In the same way Jesus, a seemingly insignificant Jew from Nazareth, will provide spiritual nourishment for the multitudes through his crucifixion and resurrection.
Jesus’ message of God’s kingdom and the signs and wonders he performed stirred fresh hope and expectation that God was acting in a new and powerful way to set people free from sin and oppression and to bring them the blessings of his kingdom.
We have only to look at the saints like Mother Teresa and John Vianney for examples of how God works great things through those with seemingly meagre gifts by the standards of the world.
What personal gifts, no matter how small or insignificant, am I aware of that could be shared for the benefit of others? By offering these to God in prayer I allow God to magnify these gifts for the benefit of others.