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Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Tomorrow we will read about the crowd’s response when they discover that Jesus and his disciples have crossed to the other side of the sea. They follow them and ask, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” They had just experienced one of Jesus’ most amazing miracles, the feeding of the five thousand. Yet it isn’t enough. They want more. So, they cross the sea to find him.

“. . . they . . . came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.”

This is a meditation on this Gospel from one of my sisters:

I’ve always wondered if they really knew what they were searching for. Jesus chides them for seeking the wrong things. They had just gotten a free meal. Their stomachs are full, and their souls are touched, but do they know that they need Jesus’ words, compassion, and presence? They need the Master to help them understand their deeper desires.

We often go about our daily lives doing what we need to do, what’s expected of us, what we think will give us fulfillment. Yet in our very depths we feel an ache, a desire that keeps gnawing at us. Do we understand what we are feeling underneath all the externals? Have we ever really quieted ourselves enough to reflect and examine what that desire is? We long for intimacy, but can another person really fulfill our deepest desires? We long for communion, but can we ever find complete harmony and unity with others? By giving us his very self, his body and blood, Jesus answers this most basic need of the human soul—the need for love. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). Our souls yearn for love. The Eucharistic sacrifice of Christ is the perfect expression of love. By giving us himself as the Bread of Life, he is offering to us this most enduring and fulfilling of all loves. Let us look into our hearts and ask the Master for this grace to recognize our need for him to fulfill our genuine desires for love.

If you have enjoyed this meditation, you’ll find meditations on all the Gospels of  Ordinary Time in:  Ordinary Grace Weeks 18-34

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