Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time.
Reading 1: Num. 11. 4b – 15; Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21
In the Gospel today we have the great miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand people. Apart from the resurrection, this is the only miracle recorded by all the four evangelists. The context of today’s Gospel is that Jesus, on hearing the beheading of John the Baptist withdraws himself to a deserted place seeking solitude . It is at this time people come in search of Jesus seeking his healing touch and preaching. What is inspiring is that Jesus, inspite of his deep sorrow at the death of his cousin and friend John, decides to pay full attention to the people. The Gospel says “He had compassion for them and cured their sick.” Jesus practically spent the whole day with and for the people, nourishing them spiritually. Towards evening the disciples approached Jesus asking him to send the people away as it was already late, he takes upon himself the responsibility of feeding the entire multitude with a small meal. This is indeed a great example of being a man for others. Jesus took care of all those who came to him that day, catering to their physical and spiritual need inspite of his own personal pain and sorrow. A student of theology had these words on the door of his room. “Dear friend, you can disturb me at any time. Your need is more important than my siesta.”