Despite wanting to be by himself upon hearing about the gruesome killing of John the Baptist, Jesus is stirred with compassion when He sees the vast crowd pursuing Him. At Cana there was no more wine, then abundance. Now five loaves of bread feed five thousand with twelve baskets of extra food that is placed into the disciples’ care.
GIVE THEM SOME FOOD YOURSELVES
Overwhelmed with grief at having learned about the violent killing of John the Baptist by Herod, today’s Gospel recounts how Jesus withdraws in a boat alone in search of a deserted place after (Matthew 14:13-21). Jesus’ plan for solitude quickly pass, however, when people learn the location of His destination and a vast crowed already is assembled as He disembarks the boat (v. 14). The sight of human brokenness stirs Jesus’ soul. Moved with compassion, Jesus cures their sick.
Notice Jesus heals without having been summoned.
As evening nears, the disciples want Jesus to disperse the crowd so that everyone can care for themselves. Jesus replies by having the disciples themselves minister to the broken and needy people. After first asking them to bring Him with the little they have, Jesus raises His eyes, blesses, breaks and the disciples distribute (v. 19). The miracle happens in the hands of the disciples. As Mary at Cana instructed the servants to do whatever Jesus told them, so now do the disciple follow Jesus’ instructions.
The more that is given, the more there is – everyone is satisfied and much more still remains.
In the same way, Jesus command us to provide for those in need. As members of His Church, it is for us all to administer our Lord’s compassion, to live as instruments of divine mercy. Although we may feel we have little or nothing to offer God, Jesus will take our most meager offering, bless it and give it back to us so that through our genuine compassion those in need will be loved.
Friends nothing can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus – not brokenness, not neediness, not sickness, neither fear nor worry, not setbacks despite their devastation. Intentional disciples – and communities of intentional disciples, families and parishes – are prepared to distribute generously God’s graces and blessings.