Scripture: 1st Reading: Num11,4-15; Resp. Psalm: Ps81,12-17; Gosp. Accl.: Mt4,4; Gospel: Mt14,13-21
God was with His chosen people. God was their refuge and strength, their protector and guide. Yahweh preferred them without any merits of their own in fidelity to the promise He made to Abraham. He led them out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with great signs. He led them into the wilderness so that they could worship Him and He could make a nation out of them.
He did everything good to satisfy them and make them happy. We are talking of about two million people here on the march and Yahweh took great care of each one of them! But the heart of man is insatiable, the patience of man is very short, his vision is opaque and myopic, his heart wavers like a flickering flame. The people grumbled against Yahweh, their God.
They grumbled and longed to go back and eat the meat, fish, cucumber, melon, leeks, onions and garlic they ate in Egypt! They even claimed they ate it for free. They had quickly forgotten that this was a Greek gift - they paid it with the sweat of their brows in sub human slavery conditions. They rejected the manna that Yahweh gave them free of charge. The word of God said that the people wept throughout their families, every man at the door of his tent.
Food has always been and may always be one powerful source of man's downfall. Today it is the chosen people who grumbled as a result of sustenance. But we also grumble and are impatient with God over a good number of issues. We are totally dissatisfied with the way we think things are moving because we think they should move in a different direction and we place the blame at God's doorsteps. We forget that with a little patience and supplication to the Almighty, the hunger in our hearts will be satisfied.
This is why it is not surprising that the Son of God in today's gospel passage, out of His compassion for the hungry crowd, gave them food they never asked for. Our Lord had healed their bodies of diseases and sicknesses and set free those possessed by demons. But our Lord felt that that was not enough. He needed to satisfy the physical hunger for food and sustenance that He saw in this crowd of over five thousand men, without counting women and children.
Our Lord fed this crowd of not less than fifteen thousand mouths with five loaves and two fish. Just as His Father did with the manna and the quails in the wilderness, our Lord gave them an over abundance of food. The word of God tells us today that "they all ate and we're satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over."
The word today teaches us that we must always and everywhere trust in God's providence. We must believe that His plans are the best for us in all situations. We must remember that He will always satisfy the Hunger in our hearts. We must be patient and wait for the manifestation of His providence on our behalf.
Let us pray: O God our loving Father and provider, we thank and praise you for the many good things you have provided for us out of your bounty. Give us patience to await the fulfillment of your promises in our lives. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always. Have a truly blessed week ahead.