Today is Monday the 2 August, the feast of St Peter Faber SJ, in the Eighteenth week of Ordinary time.
Luke Parker sings, ‘In Quietness’.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.
Matthew 14: 13-21
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves." Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish." And he said, "Bring them here to me." Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Jesus liked solitude. He needed time and space sometimes to give his full and undivided attention to his Father. What need do you feel in your life for that kind of solitude?
Jesus also liked to be with people. He liked it both for his own sake and for their sakes. Whether he expressed this companionship in words or deeds, in miracles or simply sympathetic presence, underlying it all was compassion: sharing experience with them. What is your attitude to other people, and to spending time with people?
As you hear these words again, what more might they be saying to you? What do they tell you about you own need to spend time with others, and to seek God in solitude?
As you sit in solitude now with God, what do you want to say to him? Perhaps the Lord has something to say to you about how you might nurture and encourage and support people around you.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.