Food in a Deserted Place (Mt 14:13-21)
O Jesus, you feed me with the finest food.
Picture Jesus feeding the 5,000.
When Jesus heard of John’s death (told immediately before this story) he crosses to the eastern bank of the Sea of Galilee (Gentile territory). Jesus was already known among the Gentiles for his healing powers and many villages surrounded the Sea of Galilee. So, the scene evolves with many people in a deserted place. Matthew highlights this miracle as a preview of the Eucharist.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Hearing of John’s death, Jesus went by boat to a deserted place. The crowd learned of this and came out of their cities by foot. When he saw the great multitude, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. At evening, the disciples said, “This is a deserted place and the hour is late. Send the crowd away so they can buy some food in the towns.” Jesus said, “They need not do that. You give them to eat.” They answered, “We have only five barley loaves and two fishes.” He said, “Bring them to me.” He ordered the people to sit down. Taking the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke and gave the loaves to his disciples and the disciples gave them to the crowd.
They all ate and were filled. They gathered up what remained, twelve baskets of fragments. Those who ate were five thousand men, not counting women and children.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Jesus feels deeply the loss of John and withdraws from his ministry.
- However, he also feels deeply for the people who need healing and teaching. So, he reverses his decision.
- The disciples still lack faith, not even thinking that Jesus would provide.
- Jesus has the disciples bring the food that they do have.
- Jesus takes the food, looks to heaven, blesses it, breaks it and gives to the disciples. He will do the same actions at the Last Supper.
- All are filled. No one is sent away hungry.
- God’s miracle is clear from the twelve full baskets.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, how deeply you feel about me.
- Lord, I am the object of your greatest compassion.
- You can do all things, Jesus. Why do I not believe?
- Jesus, I bring you what I have.
- Jesus, I will hunger for the Eucharistic bread which you bless each day.
- You never send me away hungry.
- God, your love is abundant, overflowing my needs.
Resolutions: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
+ I will try to receive Holy Communion every day.
+ I will thank God for caring for all my necessities
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
His heart was moved with pity.