By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: August 5, 2019
August 5, 2019

Gospel MT 14:13-21

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
He said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me,”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over–
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.

Reflection:

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.

Scripture scholars tell us that Jesus was fully human; it can be difficult to grasp that truth. At the death of John the Baptist, His cousin and greatest advocate, Jesus shows His humanness in His desire to be alone at the death of a loved one.

The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.

“One in being with God the Father,” Jesus had a servant’s heart.
Just as an exhausted parent rises from their bed to care for their sick child, Jesus rose above His sorrow to tend to the suffering of others. Selfless sacrifice is the hallmark of a Christian.

When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”

The large crowd (over five thousand people) had gathered spontaneously, without preparation. Concerned that they were without food, Jesus’ disciples urged Him to send them away to find food for themselves.

He said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”

Recently while ministering to the homeless, two women I had the privilege of serving told me there was a couple sleeping under a nearby bridge. This made me so aware of how the poor look out for the poor.

When I arrived at the bridge, the woman “Angie” was sound asleep, covered in blankets. Her partner, “Peter,” was sitting on the curb beside her. I greeted “Peter” and gave him a gift card to a coffee shop to help them through the day.

After thanking me, “Peter’s” first reaction was to turn toward “Angie,” gently shake her awake and say, “Good morning, Honey. Would you like a cup of coffee?”

The first quality of true love is that it creates within us a desire to do good for those we love. Jesus said, “Love one another as I have love you.”

“……..give them some food yourselves.”

Jesus message is crystal clear: As one of His disciples, if I truly love others,
I cannot delegate my Christian responsibility; I must help them myself.

But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me,”
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over–
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.

When helping others, you need never worry whether you will have enough.
If you give what little you have with love, then Jesus will multiply your gift many times over. Jesus will never be outdone in generosity.

“Every unselfish act of love whispers God’s name.” Bob Goff



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