After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.
Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.”
Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my husband and I traveled 600 miles – ten hours in the car – fueled by 33 gallons of gas. In today’s Gospel, despite having restored the people’s sight or speech, curing their ailments, or healing their brokenness, Jesus is still concerned that, without “fuel,” the people will not have enough strength for their journey. He does “not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.”
All of our journeys – on the road and throughout life – require fuel. It can be overwhelming to imagine how to satisfy such a tremendous need. Jesus simply asks us to bring him what we have, no matter how small, humble, or insignificant, and he will do the rest. When we bring Jesus the tiny shred of hope to which we cling, or our last bit of patience, or the small sliver of peace we hold in our hearts, He multiplies those shreds, bits, and slivers into an abundance of love, peace, patience, hope.
For what do you hunger? Today, bring what little you have to Jesus, and allow him to multiply it into an abundance of what you need.
—Jackie Schulte is the Dean of Faculty Formation and a history teacher at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE.
O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in your mercy, grant us a safe lodging and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen.
—St. John Henry NewmanPlease share the Good Word with your friends!