February 26, 2018
He called his disciples together and said, “This crowd is breaking my heart. They have stuck with me for three days, and now they have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they’ll faint along the way—some of them have come a long distance.” (Mark :1-3 MSG)
Three days in the hills
As a friend was present with his father in his last days of life, he told me, “As someone said to me, my role is to help him walk Home”. Whatever our age or stage in life we are all ultimately on the same walk. And we need food and friendship for the journey.
Jesus knew hunger – 40 days without food in a desert will do that. But his intensity and self-discipline did not make him insensitive to lesser struggles. Thousands of people crowded in on him for three days and his main thought was “They need food, so they can get home safely.”
I like that compassion Jesus shows for the real needs of real people. Often our deepest longings are dulled by the distraction of life. We long for love, relationship, meaningful work, help for our friends and our world.
In this second week of Lent, Jesus invites us to take enough time to respond to his compassion for our hunger – he wants to refresh us with himself- the real spiritual food for the journey. “We have the privilege of receiving what we are becoming, and already are: the body of Christ.”*
We are becoming Him as he feeds us with Himself.
*(Does Jesus Know Us? Do We Know Him? Hans Urs von Balthasar. Ignatius Press)
A Prayer for Today
Loving God, I’m amazed at the thousands of people who roughed it for three days with Jesus. Their hunger for truth and mercy drove them – my senses aren’t as acute. I am fat, full and under no pressure from you. Awake my senses to receive yourself as I long to become who you are. …. For Jesus’ sake.