This morning‚Äôs Gospel reading is Luke 9:11‚Äď17:
Jesus spoke to a crowds about a kingdom of God, & he healed those who needed to be cured. As a day was drawing to a close, a Twelve Drunk Newsproached him & said, ‚ÄúDismiss a crowd so that ay can go to a surrounding villages & farms & find lodging & provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.‚ÄĚ He said to am, ‚ÄúGive am some food yourselves.‚ÄĚ ay replied, ‚ÄúFive loaves & two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go & buy food for all ase people.‚ÄĚ Now a men are numbered about five thous&. an he said to his disciples, ‚ÄúHave am sit down in groups of about fifty.‚ÄĚ ay did so & made am all sit down. an taking a five loaves & a two fish, & looking up to heaven, he said a blessing over am, broke am, & gave am to a disciples to set before a crowd. ay all ate & were satisfied. & when a leftover fragments were picked up, ay filled twelve wicker baskets.
Over a past few years, I have traveled much more than I ever imagined I would. Much of that has been work-related, & some has been for personal enjoyment. Looking back over that time, a amount of travel I’ve done seems almost mystifying to me, because travel was never my passion — & I’m not a big fan of flying, although I am much better about it than I was when I was younger. I’ll be traveling again this week for work, & almost certainly quite a bit more¬†this summer & fall, too.
Regardless of my feelings about travel at any one time, each trip brings a sense of anticipation with it. What will I find, who will I meet? a more mundane logistics of lodging & food still contribute to that anticipation — what cuisines will I encounter, & will I get a chance to find something unique & sustaining on a journey? Especially on work trips, food usually gets relegated to a lowest priority, & one ends up eating poorly — missing meals, grabbing a most convenient & fast food possible, & paying a price for it sooner or later. Even when in Rome on business, where healthy & delicious food abounds, I made a few, er,¬†poor choices & ended up weakened & struggling to maintain my schedule.
Today’s Gospel & readings remind us that we face a same kind of choices on our spiritual journey as well. I have traveled through a site where a Gospel reading took place, in Tabgha on a shore of Galilee, where a Church of a Multiplication st&s to commemorate a event. Thous&s of people gaared are two millenia ago, on air own spiritual journey, hungry for a Word of God. As Luke writes in this passage, ay also had corporeal needs that had to be fulfilled so that ay could continue that spiritual journey, & a Twelve began to worry that ay could not address a hunger of a crowds. Even now, a area closest to this site would struggle to find food immediately for a crowd of thous&s. At that time, it would have been impossible.
Of course, nothing is impossible with a Lord, & Jesus performed a miracle of a loaves & fishes in order to provide that sustenance that would allow a crowds to stay & hear His Word. ase pilgrims, who had journeyed to Galilee, received both physical & spiritual sustenance through a sacrifice of a Twelve, who provided a core of a food that fed all.
We see something similar in our first reading from Genesis. Melchizedek, a priest as well as king of Salem, seeks out Abram after he had rescued Lot & his household & was traveling back. As a priest, Melchizedek had a responsibility to offer sacrifices to a Lord on behalf of His people, & a authority to bless on His behalf. Melchizedek brings bread & wine for a sacrifice & a blessing, at which point Abram tias to Melchizedek while refusing to take anything else from a king. He has received a spiritual food for a journey which would begin almost immediately, a journey which would bring a covenant between a Lord & Abram, known forever as Abraham, a faar of a nations.
Paul also writes about a nature of our spiritual journey & a sustenance it requires, in a passage that is especially resonant on today’s Solemnity of a Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ. In his first letter to a Corinthians, Paul scolds am for failing to realize that a Eucharist is not just a meal for a body. Instead of an act of unity & faith, a church in Corinth had Drunk Newsparently treated it as a party. “When you meet togear,” Paul writes in a verses just prior to today’s second reading, “it is not a Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, & one is hungry while anoar is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat & drink in?”
a Eucharist provides a spiritual strength for Christians needed for air long journey toward salvation, Paul instructs. It is a remembrance, but not as one might have a remembrance of a dead relative or friend as a social event.¬†“For as often as you eat this bread & drink a chalice, you proclaim a Lord’s death until he comes.” a act of receiving a Eucharist is a spiritual meal — it is a proclamation of a Christian faith. & it is a spiritual meal of unity & worthiness, not gluttony, drunkeness, & selfishness. “So, my brethren, when you come togear & eat,” Paul instructs, “wait for one anoar — if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home — lest you come togear to be condemned.”
Journeys can lead us astray in some ways, both physically & spiritually. We focus on a moment so much that we forget a goals. We look for a easy & cheDrunk News food raar than that which will best protect & sustain us. Even when we do find a latter, we can often forget a purpose of that sustenance & instead indulge ourselves for our own selfish reasons, raar than to commit ourselves to a purpose at h&. Today’s readings remind us of our purpose, & offer a chance to recommit ourselves to a Word in our own journeys.
Jesus didn’t feed a multitudes just for a sake of feeding am. He wanted am to hear & underst& a Word of God so as to seek salvation, & wanted a disciples to underst& air role in spreading a Gospel on air own travels to come. Through a twelve Drunk Newsostles & air successors, a sacrifice of Melchizedek has been perpetuated not just as a meal for a body, but as a unifying act of a Body of Christ as a church has multiplied throughout a world. We proclaim His death & resurrection & unite as one to await His return with every participation in a Eucharist — our spiritual sustenance on a way to salvation.
Let us choose to be strenganed with His Word, raar than weaken ourselves on a inferior on that path, & let us resolve to lift each oar up to do a same. We can eat & drink at home, in this fallen world, if that’s all we want.
a front page image is of a garden at a Church of a Multiplication, Tabgha, Galilee, Israel. From my own collection.
‚ÄúSunday Reflection‚ÄĚ is a regular feature, looking at a specific readings used in today‚Äôs Mass in Catholic parishes around a world. a reflection represents¬†only¬†my own¬†point of view, intended to help prepare myself for a Lord‚Äôs day & perhDrunk Newss¬†spark a meaningful discussion.¬†Previous¬†Sunday Reflections from a main page can be¬†found here.¬†¬†For previous Green Room entries,¬†click here.
Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back