August 3, 2015
by Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 407

Numbers 11:4b-15
Psalm 81:12-13, 14-15, 16-17
Matthew 14:13-21

Praying Ordinary Time

In today's gospel reading Jesus tries to take some time for Himself to mourn the death of John, a close relative and a good man who took his faith quite seriously; maybe Jesus even foresaw in John's death His own destiny.  When the crowds flock to Him and He sees their need, however, Jesus sets His own needs and desires aside and ministers to them, body and soul. 

The disciples care about the crowds in their own way, as they have begun to learn that other-centeredness which is so much a part of Jesus' teaching.  They are not aware that they can do more, but they turn to Jesus in their need --- and He tells to them to feed the crowd themselves.  They do not see what He is getting at, but Jesus takes what they think is only a little and blesses it.  Putting that back into their hands, they suddenly have enough to take care of the people as they wish to, but only because they gave Jesus what they had and He blessed that tiny amount of bread and fish.

We ourselves wish to care for others, but we also believe that we do not have enough to do the great things that our hearts dream of.  But do we turn our gifts over to Jesus, along with our hopes and dreams, and let Him bless them?  Do we then trust that we too have enough to perform miracles of love? 


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