MATTHEW 14:13-31 GOSPEL READING AND REFLECTION ( August 2, 2020)
When Jesus heard of it, he set out by boat for a secluded place, to be alone. But the people heard of it, and they followed him on foot from their towns. When Jesus went ashore, he saw the crowd gathered there, and he had compassion on them. And he healed their sick.
Late in the afternoon, his disciples came to him and said, “We are in a lonely place and it is now late. You should send these people away, so that they can go to the villages and buy something to eat.” They answered, “ We have nothing here but five loaves and two fishes.”
Jesus said to them, “Bring them here to me.” Then he made everyone sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves, and handed them to the disciple to distribute to the people. And they all ate, and everyone had enough; then the disciples gathered up the leftovers, filling twelve baskets. About five thousand men had eaten there, besides women and children.
POINTS OF REFLECTION
This Bible reading depicted two inviting occasions, the birthday party of King Herod who had his selected royal guest (Party in the Court Hall) and the compassionate healing and feeding of Jesus to the people in dire needs (Party in the Court Yard).
- Party in the Court Hall
The royal birthday party of king Herod was a celebration of foods, drinks and many excesses to boast the king’s personality. In fact, this is a no need celebration because all the visitors and attendees were “the haves personalities.” They do not need to be treated with so much food and drinks for they have the capacity to have it in their home without needing a party. The party is not about the visitors or the attendees, instead it is about the one who initiated the party. The party is about the valor and pride of the celebrant to gain more respect and social credit. It is about the personal interest of the celebrant for satisfaction and recognition. It is in a promise and so much pride that John the Baptist was ordered to be beheaded for the evil motive and personal interest of Herodias. This happened because John was Herod’s living conscience and kept telling him that it is not right to have Herodias as she is her brother’s wife. The party was a blessing in disguise to John the Baptist with the note that he has done his mission but a great tragedy and perdition to the life of King Herod, Herodias and her daughter . The party does not culminate in great joy and satisfaction but end as an evil’s triumph.
- Party in the Court Yard
The party in the courtyard was a party of healing, compassion and love. It was conducted in the grassy ground with all the simplicity and beauty of nature. It was a gathering in the meekness of Jesus and performances of miracles to answer the needs of the people who tirelessly followed him in the secluded place. It was a necessary gathering to answer their needs. The followers or attendees were not chosen instead chose themselves to be one of the huge crowd in hope and faith unto Jesus. The gathering is not about Jesus but it is about everyone’s concern to ease their problems and sufferings. It is a gathering with very limited resources, few loaves of bread and fish to feed a huge crowd. Jesus took the limited into unlimited and were able to feed the huge crowd in full satisfaction and able to keep enough reserves of foods out of the limited. He has amazingly multiplied the bread and fish to answer their needs. Jesus culminates the celebration in great satisfaction for everyone and even leaves a message that “What is limited to God is more than enough to man.”
Brothers and sisters, the whole message in this Bible reading tells us not to stay focused on oneself instead get involved with the needs of others even if you have limited for God’s grace is unlimited to what is limited to us.