August 3, 2008
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 14: 13-21
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves." Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish." And he said, "Bring them here to me." Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe you want me to have faith in you, faith that hearkens to your words without any second guessing. I hope in your words, not relying solely on my own strength or reasoning. I love you, for you continue to astonish me by showing me that your ways are not my ways.
Petition: Lord Jesus, increase my faith.
1. Heart-to-Heart with His Father There is no greater joy than spending some quality time, one-on-one, with the person you love the most. We may have heard our dad say, “Let your mother and I spend some time together”, or “We are going on our second honeymoon.” It is also like the dad who treats his kids to a special dinner after they make their first confessions – just father and son, father and daughter. Special things happen when we open our hearts to the one we love. Christ did this a lot. Always united to his Father, he treasured the moments of solitude he could spend speaking with him of the things they loved.
2. A Magnanimous Heart After his love for the Father, Christ’s greatest love is us. He cannot stand to see us in need. Like any father, friend, or brother, his heart melts when he sees us suffering. Christ always came back from the heart-to-heart times with his Father with a keen awareness of the needs of others and of ways to remedy any problem. It was so natural, almost effortless. Our own growth in virtue is directly related to how much time we spend in real, personal, and passionate prayer with our Lord. From these heart-to-hearts, virtue grows and overtakes us in a very natural way, because our Lord’s love is contagious.
3. Nothing Is Impossible for God God can perform miracles whenever he wants and however he wants. Nothing can hold him back. Still we often ask ourselves, “Why doesn’t Christ perform the miracle that I need in my life – my health problem, my work, my spouse, my children?” Could it be that our petitions are asking for the impossible? God has a plan for each of our lives. It includes moments of great joys and of crosses. Our goal is to go along with God’s plan. We have to be open to the exceptional moments of grace – as we see in the multiplication of the loaves and fish – but we must also be open to the moments of the cross each of us experiences. God has a plan for our lives, and he has put or allowed certain road blocks in it which are designed to bring us to sainthood.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, help me to live my mission in life. My mission is nothing else than searching for your will: loving it, living it, and passing on the beauty I find in it.
Resolution: I will spend five minutes before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament today.
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