Gospel: (Matthew 14: 13-21)
When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them…When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said: “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves. But they said, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” Then he said, “Bring them here to me,” …Taking the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied…when they picked up the fragments left over they had twelve baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand…
This gospel helps us move all the talk about God’s kingdom out of the scripture and into our daily lives. We can’t make the kingdom present by ourselves. At first, Jesus tells the disciples to “give them some food yourselves.” They can’t; human resources are not sufficient to make present what God’s kingdom promises. Jesus then takes the meager human resources- “five loaves and two fish”- and blesses them and gives them to disciples to distribute to the crowds. What the disciples cannot do alone they can do with Jesus’ blessing. (Living Liturgy, p.208)
“We must pass, …from affective love to effective love. And that is a love which takes flesh in works of charity, service of the poor which is undertaken with joy, constancy and tender love.”-St. Vincent de Paul- ( McKenna, Praying with Vincent, p. 64)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts on the readings after a moment of silence)
How have you witnessed in your service to the poor that your “loaves and fishes” were multiplied by the blessing of Jesus?
Lord Jesus, you bless those who seek to serve the poor,
-move our hearts from affective to effective love.
Open our eyes,
–that we may see your presence in our midst.
Open our ears,
-that we may hear the cries of the poor.
Open our hearts,
-that we may serve with joy, constancy and tender love.
Open our hands,
-that our “loaves and fishes” may receive your blessing. Amen.