The Good News for the Day, August 6, 2017
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (112)
When Jesus heard about the death of John the Baptist, he retreated from the public—got in a boat and went to be alone in an isolated place. A significant number of people heard about this; they followed him on foot from their towns. When he got off the boat—and saw the number of people—his heart was moved with compassion for them; he cured their sick. When evening came, His close followers approached him, “This is a lonely area and it’s pretty late. Let the crowds go somewhere into the towns around here, and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; you yourselves give them some food.” They said, “Five loaves and a couple of fish are all we have here.” Then he said, “Bring them here to me.” He directed the groups of people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the couple of fish—looking to heaven—He said the common blessing, broke the loaves—then gave the food to his close followers, who in turn gave it to the people. Everybody ate and were satisfied, and when they picked up the leftover fragments—twelve wicker baskets full! Those who ate numbered about five thousand men—not counting women and children. (Matthew 14)
This often-repeated tale Gospel tale reminds us of something—how people remember event so differently. Externals facts stay: Crowds. Bread. Fish. Blessing. Broke the Bread, Ate-&-were-satisfied. Many Fragments leftover.
Thousands of people saw, heard, and ate at this shared experienced. And yet, almost certainly, many denied what they saw. Some “believed,” while others came, then left unaffected. It’s awesome—our human capacity to deny that what you and I just saw was in fact wondrous, awesome.
Like the Israelites long ago—daily food is provided you! It is a daily miracle that goes overlooked—nourishment offered each day. You and I think we are self-sufficient, but we are not. ALL nourishment comes through others—and that is the Good News, the daily miracle for which we owe gratitude.