Have you ever wanted to be part of something bigger? Even the most independent among us likes to make changes and have an impact on others. In this Sunday's Gospel reading, Jesus demonstrates one of his most iconic miracles - the multiplication of the loaves. It is a sign of the institution of the Eucharist, when we are fed not by bread but by the Body of Christ.READ MORE
"Now what?" It's a difficult thing to hear, isn't it? The train comes late, a child unexpectedly cries, and the latest public policy debate flares up in the news. Life throws us curveballs, and we have no choice but to adapt. Jesus and the Apostles find themselves in that exact situation in today's Gospel.
The Apostles have returned from their two-by-two missionary journey. As Jesus hears all of their stories, he knows they need time to recover and refresh. "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." Their wilderness retreat is short-lived, however, as eager crowds discover their location. Jesus is well aware of the needs of his disciples. Still, as he looks out at the crowd, "His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd." The rest break is over. "He began to teach them many things." For those of us who have experienced a taste of much-needed relaxation only to have it taken away abruptly, perhaps we surmise what the Apostles might have been feeling in that moment.READ MORE
"He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two." This Sunday we read the first sending of the Apostles to preach, teach, and heal. For many of us, it can be easy to think we "just don't have enough" to be disciples and evangelists ourselves. We don't have enough education and training. We don't have enough experience talking to people about Jesus. We don't pray enough. We don't have enough faith.READ MORE
If you have been closely following the Sunday readings, today's gospel could sound a bit like a broken record. Four weeks ago, the Gospel told of Jesus visiting his home of Nazareth and being poorly received by his family members. Jesus had attracted a large crowd as he preached, and his concerned relatives came to bring him home. Jesus, they thought, was out of his league.READ MORE
Today's Gospel offers a rare framework -- a story in a story. Most of the healing miracles are standalone encounters. One person approaches Jesus, demonstrates faith, and is healed. The evangelist tells the next story. This Gospel, however, is different. Jesus is on his way to heal one person, a young girl of twelve, and is interrupted on his journey by "a woman afflicted with hemorrhages." She bravely approaches Jesus in a crowd, despite being ritually unclean from her bleeding, and stretches out to touch his cloak. She is healed! Jesus meets her eye, confirms her faith, and continues on to resurrect the young girl.READ MORE