Their boat set out for a deserted place along the Sea of Galilee. But the word got out and lots of people “hastened” there, that is, they eagerly ran on foot, and arrived there faster than Jesus and the apostles could.
Why did those people run? They ran because they anticipated good things. They ran because they believed their desires would be fulfilled. In a word, they ran because Jesus and the apostles had given them “HOPE”.
What can we hope for as Christians? Can we hope that if we stay close to Christ and to His church that we will go to heaven someday? Yes. But is that all there is? No. Our hope in Christ is not only for the time beginning once we have died.
Moments ago, we heard Psalm 23, a psalm commonly heard at funerals. The Lord is my shepherd; and we responded "THERE IS NOTHING I SHALL WANT". Though we tend to associate it with the Holy dead, the blessings this psalm speaks for the living as well. For example, in the Gospel, Jesus leads the apostles to a place beside restful waters to refresh their souls. He teaches the vast crowds that come many things, guiding them in right paths, and giving them courage. He has the people lay upon the green grass and, breaking bread, He spreads a meal before them.
We can confidently HOPE that Jesus will do these things for us.
Jesus wants to give you PEACE. But what is peace? It means, in part, being liberated from worthless worry, having no anxiety at all.
Jesus wants to teach you WISDOM and give you the courage you need to live it. Jesus Christ, teaching through our Church and its scriptures, proclaims to your truths that the world does not know and hence is not going to teach you. Jesus not only tells you how to live well but EMPOWERS you to do it too through the Holy Spirit alive within you.
Jesus wants to give you the bread you need. In a few moments, you will be receiving the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. And in addition to that, Jesus does not only provide for you on this one day at church.
He provides for us all week long in the world out there. In the Our Father, we pray “Give us this day our daily bread”, and this is not just food, but whatever it is we need. Christ is rich and wants to give you good things. If we are frugal and generous, he will provide us with whatever we need.
There is a lot of hopelessness about our times and the way things are headed, but we Christians should live with HOPE about our lives and about the world we live in. Now bad things are going to happen, but with Christ, a more Glorious Resurrection always follows the CROSS. With this truth in mind, we should be a people of HOPE.
Our world is broken, but man is more broken by sin.
Christ is real and active with power in the world out there, but HE tends to work from the inside-out. That is to say, the kind of change that He is interested in usually begins within souls, like ours. Christ first changes Christians, and then through us, He transforms the world.
He wants to give us trusting peace inside, so we can live with freedom.
He wants to give us contentment inside, as the antidote for our over-consumption.
But first and foremost, of all, He wants to give you “PRAYER” inside.
If you only hear one thing I have said in today's reflection, this is the final and most important thing:
A Christian must pray, every single day.
Daily prayer is the means to our conversion.
Daily prayer is the first step to transforming our world.
Daily prayer is the key to realizing our HOPES, for this life and the next.
Christ has good things he wants to give you.
SO RUN TO HIM, WITH EAGER HOPE.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL