by Fr. Walt Wainwright

Maybe they did not realize that Jesus needed some time alone to grieve when He heard of the death of John the Baptist.  Maybe many of them were not aware that John the Baptist had baptized Jesus in the Jordan River.  Maybe they did not realize how deeply Jesus felt that the Beloved John the Baptist died because he had the courage to speak out when he saw evil and knew he could not remain silent.  In any case they followed Jesus when He set out alone to spend some time on some hill.

So they followed him and eventually caught up with Him.  He saw them coming toward Him, this huge crowd of people.  All they knew was that they wanted Him to teach them, to feed them with the beautiful parables and lessons that gave them a new insight into what it means to believe and trust in God.

When they had gathered around Him, probably covering the whole top of the hill where Jesus was and sat silently waiting for the Master to speak.  And so he began once again to enlighten them with words of faith and hope, with trust and love.  And He went on speaking, teaching them until it was late in the day and suddenly he realized that they must be hungry.

Some of the apostles and disciples approached Jesus and put the question before Him.  There are so many people, it is evening and they are hungry, how are we to feed them?  Should we send some of them to nearby villages to buy some food?  “No, give them something to eat yourselves.”  “How can we do this, there are so many and all we have are a few loaves and fish.”

It was then that Jesus continued to teach.  Tell the people to sit down, then bring the food to Me.  Jesus took the loaves and fish, blessed them and began to distribute them to the crowds.  When everyone had eaten not only were they all filled but there was a lot left over.

In this we find another teaching.  Jesus would not only give them a little but rather a lot, enough to satisfy their hunger at that moment but food to nourish them again in the  morning when they would have to set out and return home.  This is how Jesus is, He never gives just a little, He gives a lot.  We need to remember that and try to keep it in mind when we consider other situations in our lives.

Whatever we take to the Lord, even if we’re like that crowd of people and are simply looking for lessons to live by and ways to solve problems, what the Lord will give us will always be a generous amount.  He is generous in bestowing His grace upon us whether it is forgiveness or shedding light on our problems.  There will always be more than we might expect because he always takes pity on us and gives more than we ever ask for.

That’s our Jesus.  So, when we are placing before Him our cares and worries, He will always give us graces in such abundance we should stand up and shout our praise and thanks aloud.

Enjoy the continuing weeks of summer.  Be careful.  Be safe.  Stay well!

Fr. Walt