35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:
36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
What are you hungry for? When the crowds came out to see Jesus, what were they hungry for? Maybe they were hoping to see a miracle, or just to see the one they had heard about, a celebrity of the times, and maybe some actually wanted to hear what he had to say. We are told that Jesus had compassion on them and so began to teach them. Perhaps we look at Jesus as a miracle worker. If we do, we can be sorely disappointed when our loved ones aren’t healed or we don’t get the job, or our prayers aren’t answered the way we want them to be
If we come to Jesus hungry for his word, then we will never be disappointed. No matter where we look in the Gospels, we will find hope, or a challenge, or comfort, or advice. And we will always find his love for us. Sometimes we can be like the disciples who want to send the people away to find food. Jesus tells the disciples to feed the crowd themselves. Although Jesus and the disciples were talking about food, I believe that there is a second meaning here.
The disciples believed that the food which they had, 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, would be inadequate to feed the crowd, which numbered about 5000, but after distributing the loaves and fish, there was more than enough to eat as well as enough to fill 12 baskets.
Perhaps Jesus was telling both the disciples and us that we need to feed those hungry to know the message of God’s love, and that we have enough faith and knowledge of Jesus to feed the multitude of people who need to hear this good news, and that this will overflow as they will then bring that message to others.
When you share your faith with others, the result can spill over into lives we might never see.
Lord, you want your message of salvation to be spread into the whole world. You have called each one of us to be your disciples by virtue of our baptism. We are all called, but there are times when we feel inadequate. Please give us the courage to share our faith with others knowing that you will give us the words we need. Amen.