The voice of God is heard in an invitation to the exiles to return to a renewed Jerusalem and covenant (Isaiah 55: 1-3). They are impoverished in body and spirit. God calls for a whole-hearted response to this invitation in which every thirst will be quenched, every hunger filled and every hope assured. They need only have a true and open spirit to be satisfied!
Looking upon the gathered crowds in the deserted place, Jesus is moved with pity (Matthew 14: 13-21). He cures the sick, yet, is concerned with their hungers. Jesus rejects the advice of the disciples who would have the crowds dismissed. With five loaves and a few fish, more than 5,000 are nourished and the leftovers filled 12 baskets! It is amazing that with a true and open spirit, even in the midst of the deserted and abandoned places of our lives, the Lord’s healing and nourishing presence is there to satisfy us with our fill. Only the true and open spirit recognizes the hand of the Lord at work. Only the true and open spirit pauses to give thanks to God. And so, we pray, that every human hunger may lead us closer to God:
O God, who did not create death and who provides food for all living things, drive out, in your compassion, the hunger of your servants, that our hearts may serve you with greater readiness and joy.
May the week ahead be filled with many blessings!