Reflecting on Luke 9:11b-17
It must have been hot at that deserted place in Bethsaida when the crowds came out to see Jesus—to hear him—to be touched and healed by him. And when the day was drawing to a close they must have started to feel uncomfortable. They were hungry, but they wouldn’t leave the place where Jesus was. They couldn’t take the chance that he might be gone when they came back.
These days it’s the Job Fairs that draw the huge crowds. The sad numbers of unemployed form a line that snakes around the block and up the stairs and out into the parking lots. They wait in the cold and the heat for a chance to fill out still another job application. And even when it rains they won’t leave their precious place in line—they can’t take the chance that others will stay and get the few jobs left.
I think I saw Jesus standing with them the other day. He and some of his friends had put together some sandwiches and coffee and were passing them around. The crowd was huge, but it looked like they’d all received more than they needed.
I saw him again last week at the Cancer Center. One of the patients there had just received a poor prognosis. Everyone around her—the doctors, the nurses, the patients—rallied around to comfort and strengthen her.
And I saw him in the news, working in Haiti and Chile, comforting the afflicted and holding them close. And, always, I see him in the breaking of the bread.
Happy Feast Day, Church. He is Really, Really Present.
Sharing God’s Word at Home:
On this Feast of the Eucharist, in what ways do you see Christ Really Present in the world?
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Photo of ancient mosaic on the floor of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish in Tabgha, Israel. How many loaves are in the basket? Go to the archives for 18th Sunday Ordinary Time B to read more.