Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
The miracle of the loaves and fishes is a pretty common Christian example of the Lord providing more than we can imagine if we have trust and make our requests known to Him. I must say though, in today’s Gospel, I am reading a different perspective that I think most of us can relate to.
Before Jesus went to give aid to the crowds by multiplying their food, the Gospel begins by stating that when Jesus had heard the news of John the Baptist’s death, he went by himself in a boat to a deserted place. The crowds of suffering people heard about His departure, so they followed him on foot to greet Him and be healed. Jesus saw the crowds and was “moved with pity” for them and He healed them. Then as the disciples pointed out that there was not enough food to feed the 5,000, Jesus performed a miracle of provision and love. As He does for us anytime we come to Him with our sicknesses, our ailments, or our hungers in life. He feeds us with His body in the Eucharist and we can truly say we are fed by a miracle of God’s love: Himself.
I know that Jesus is both human and divine, but I was struck from the beginning of this Gospel that Jesus probably just wanted some alone time for just one day to grieve the loss of his cousin. With the busy schedule Him and His disciples had of healing, preaching, praying, more healing, and every now and then a miracle- His human nature must have been exhausted! Then we are witness to the Gospel continuing on and revealing that Jesus is in fact Divine as well, receiving extra energy boosts from His Heavenly Father when others needed Him. This is certainly a reminder and challenge to me when I want to zone out and get “away” from responsibilities, people, or my own insecurities or worries, that although I may feel justified in ignoring others needs for a while- there are still ways I can ask for grace in my slump and move forward in service and love of others, rather than myself.
This miracle of the loaves and fishes reminds us that if things do not always go our way or we are grieving a loss, we can certainly take those moments to experience sorrow, but if we stay stuck in self-pity or despair we could easily start to live in a dark cave. When we choose to dwell in that dark cave for too long, our eyes adjust to only our own presence- whereas when we ascend from the cave, we see that others are still in need of our love and attention. We can give despite being in the grieving process, we can serve despite feeling desolate, and we press forward in hope due His grace that is waiting to be tapped into if we’d only ask for it! When we don’t have much more to give to others, let us remember that that is the opportune moment for the Lord to work a miracle around us.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
When have you needed to step away for a moment and rest? How did Jesus meet you there?
When is a time you have had to give of yourself? How did Jesus meet you there?
When you have returned from a break, how did Jesus meet you there?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"You give me rest."
"God works miracles."
"Lord I need you."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Today, ask for God's grace. Ask for it in every moment. When you are tired, cranky, happy, lazy etc. Ask for His grace and watch Him transform your life.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Katy Praetzel, a worship leader in Pittsburgh, PA.
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