August 1, 2016
by Tom Lenz
Creighton University's School of Pharmacy & Health Professions
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 407

Jeremiah 28:1-17
Psalm 119:29, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102
Matthew 14:13-21
Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Over the course of my lifetime I have heard the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 many times. But, having the opportunity to write a reflection about the story allowed me to spend more time with the story and actually reflect – what a gift in itself. The grace I received allowed me to love the story even more.

What struck me about reading this story from a reflectionary gaze was the message of trust. So, here they were, 5,000+ people together in a deserted place with no food and its getting dark. His disciples are advising him to let the people leave to get some food. In other words, to take themselves out of the deserted place and care for themselves. But, Jesus tells them, “There is no need for them to go away.” In other words, Jesus showed us that if we believe and trust in him, he will take care of us.

Sometimes life can make me feel like I am in a deserted place and that I need to muscle my way through it, solve all the world’s problems myself, or walk back to town myself to get some food as in the story. But, this story reminds me that no matter how deserted life feels, God will always take care of me. I sometimes imagine my life and life’s journey as a river. The river has many twists and turns and some parts are smooth water and some parts have rocky rapids. The path of the river, however, is already laid out ahead of me and leads straight to God. The times I feel best is when I am swimming with the current – this is when I feel like I am living the kind of life that God wants me to live. It is sometimes not easy, but it always feels right. Other times I feel like I am swimming against the current – this is when I am not living the kind of life that God wants me to live because it is always difficult, never feels right, and never contains a sense of peace. So, staying in my swim lane (God’s swim lane) even if there are rapids ahead is the place where I am most peaceful because I trust that God will always take care of me.

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