< <  

Sunday, July 31, 2005

  > >

18th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 55:1-3
Romans 8:35, 37-39
Psalm 145
Matthew 14:13-21

View Readings
Similar Reflections

days of love

"When Jesus heard this, He withdrew by boat from there to a deserted place by Himself." —Matthew 14:13

Jesus' day began in a horrifying way. He got the news that John the Baptist had been brutally murdered by beheading. Jesus considered John the greatest person who had ever been born (Mt 11:11). Jesus was baptized by John. Then, affirmed as God's beloved Son and filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus began His public ministry. Jesus had a special relationship with John. Therefore, the news of John being murdered was overwhelming.

"When Jesus heard this, He withdrew by boat from there to a deserted place by Himself" (Mt 14:13). Jesus needed time to pray and be healed. However, the crowds "followed Him on foot from the towns" (Mt 14:13). They wanted Jesus, Who was Himself wounded and "bleeding internally" (spiritually speaking), to heal them (see Mt 14:14). So Jesus spent the whole day healing people and working the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish to feed them.

Day after day, in terrible pain, Jesus poured out His life for love of us. He calls us, His disciples, to follow Him in a daily outpouring of love, which at first seems terrifying to us but eventually and mysteriously becomes easy and light (see Mt 11:30). By grace, let us say with Paul: "Even if my life is to be poured out as a libation over the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad of it and rejoice with all of you" (Phil 2:17). Embrace the cross.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me to love.

Promise:  "In all this we are more than conquerors because of Him Who has loved us." —Rm 8:37

Praise:  Praise Jesus, crucified and risen Love!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Crucified to the World on audio AV 40A-3 or video V-40A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.