July 25, 2021
Dear Followers of Jesus,
In this passage, John 6:1-15, we encounter Jesus who offers his followers abundance. People gathered to listen to him. They were hungry. They could not find enough food on their own. Jesus takes five barley loaves and two fish and offers it all to the crowd. Everyone was filled, everyone was satisfied, everyone was nourished.
At every Sunday Mass, I look out into the congregation and ponder the many needs of our people. I know a few stories of pain, of questions, of doubt. However, God truly knows us. In the Mass, there is plenty for each of us. God feeds us in the ways in which we need to be fed.
Imagine such a miracle for your own life, God aches to feed your unique hunger. There is plenty of grace, mercy, and kindness from God to go around. We just need to enjoy our portion, in the time given us, in the moment of God’s offering.
In the Mass, the scriptures are proclaimed. We believe when they are heard, they provide grace from God. Grace is present in the breaking open of the Word. The Real Presence of Jesus is revealed in each text. The scriptures become true food. We taste the sweetness of God’s covenant with us when the gospel is proclaimed and preached. We all long for this food of the Word of God to satisfy us. All we need is a heart that aches for such food and a desire to pay attention to what God offers us.
When we approach the altar and receive the Real Presence of Christ Jesus, God is longing to nourish us with forgiveness, with mercy, with hope and with peace. We already belong to his love, and he so desires us to finally conclude that we need Him. We do not receive the Real Presence of Jesus Christ as a reward for being good. We receive communion because we are all in need of such profound mercy and tenderness. God is not stingy. God is pure gift and offers us abundance of miracles where each of us may experience the forgiveness we need. God offers us a gift of himself so to nourish each of us in the ways in which we all need Him.
In today’s gospel, the disciples thought scarcity would rule the day. They just did not have enough food for the thousands of people. Jesus had other plans. He revealed abundance to all the people. In fact, there were leftovers. People had more than enough to eat. This abundance is still present in the Eucharist itself. God’s fidelity to God’s people is revealed in this gift. We may want to put limits on how God loves us. We may believe that God has a limited amount of mercy and forgiveness. When we want to put a limit on God, we then limit our own growth, our own spiritual lives and both God and humanity becomes limit and all too small.
We live in an era where God desires us to experience such abundance for the good of the world. We are constantly challenged to explore our role in living love, forgiveness, and courage from the example of Christ Jesus. We must go deeper in our relationship with Christ if we are to meet the demands of our world. Hate, violence, and despair are not the portions of life we need to feed our children. We need to explore the depth of God’s love, a food that never ends, an abundance that is rich for the asking.
This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.
God give you peace,