Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:13–21
Context: This passage begins immediately after Jesus heard about the beheading of John the Baptist. Jesus departs from where He was and went to a “lonely place.” Perhaps Jesus knew that it was not His time yet to follow in the footsteps of John and thus He retreated. But when the people heard this, they sought Him out and found Him. Jesus expressed much compassion for the crowd and healed their sick.
The crowds were with Him throughout the rest of the day and appeared to have no concern for food. They were in awe of Jesus, and that awe took up all of their attention, to the point of forgetting to eat.
Reflection: As you prayerfully read the Scripture passage above, you may use the following points to help your contemplation:
- Imagine the deserted place.
- Now imagine being one of the persons who heard that Jesus had departed to that place. See yourself grow in a deep and burning desire to follow Him. Ponder the journey on foot to Jesus.
- As you and the crowd reach Him, you see the compassion in His eyes. Then you see Him cure, one by one, many who are ill. You gaze in awe.
- After several hours you remain there without food, only concerned about remaining with Jesus. Reflect upon this desire that leads you to a blind trust and hope in Jesus. That trust removes all other concerns, even the concern for food and shelter.
- Read the miracle slowly, and simply try to see yourself there throughout (v. 16–20).
- After meditating for a while, conclude by looking out at the vast crowd of 5,000 men (plus the women and children), knowing that they were all fed from those five loaves and two fish.
Featured Image: Multiplicación de los panes y los peces, de Francisco de Herrera el Viejo
Introduction to Meditations for Ordinary Time
- Baptism of the Lord
- Two Standards
- Three Classes of Men
- Calling of Apostles
- Wedding at Cana
- Cleansing the Temple
- Sermon on the Mount
- Calming the Storm
- Walking on Water
- The Apostles were Sent to Preach
- Conversion of Mary Magdalene
- How Christ Fed the Five Thousand
- Transfiguration of Christ
- Resurrection of Lazarus
- Supper in Bethany
- Three Ways of Humility