FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Tuesday January 8, 2019
WORD of the DAY
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already very late. Dismiss them so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” He said to them in reply, “Give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food and give it to them to eat?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out they said, “Five loaves and two fish.” So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass. The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties. Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to [his] disciples to set before the people; he also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments and what was left of the fish. Those who ate [of the loaves] were five thousand men. (Mark 6: 34-44)
How shall I live this Word?
The sheep willingly listen to the voice of their shepherd, gather around him, and feel welcomed, understood, protected, and comforted. The true shepherd, who is not a mercenary, does not think about taking wool or milk from them, or even killing them. On the contrary, the “good/beautiful Shepherd” Jesus possesses the key to enter their heart and enrich them with divine wisdom, as a liberal dispenser of ancient and new treasures, dispensed with immeasurable prodigality. When evening falls, the limits of human nature emerge: one wants to return home, to get comfortable, and to rest. And precisely then the Lord gives the most beautiful thing: that requirement of intimacy, of fullness, of divinely inhabited reciprocity is specifically what He has come to bring to earth. Herein is the difference from the other rabbis, however wise and inspired: they deliver words, doctrines, perhaps good example; Jesus comes to give His life, He comes to give Himself!
As human beings and as Christians we fulfill ourselves by giving ourselves. Let us ask ourselves if our “charity” is just stretching out our hand (maybe stretch it towards the wallet) and withdrawing all the rest, or if we are able – perhaps we try … to give a gift that costs us, risks, that is openness to the true good of the other, to let the thought of the other grasp me and make me forget myself …
The Voice of the Imitation of Christ
Do not worry if someone is against you or for you. Instead worry if God is with you in all that you do.
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
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Comment by Fr. Enrico Emili