If we learn to trust in God forsaking all else, we will be provided for in all our needs.
As I attended Mass over the last couple of days praying for my baby niece and all of us as I always do, the Gospels moved me to reflect on the Glorious Logic of God!
Yesterday, the Gospel told us the story of Christ, who in visiting the incarcerated John the Baptist, mimicked the actions of His Blessed Mother, who took Him, within her womb, to visit the unborn John when she visited John’s mother, before the birth of their sons.
Christ, in tending to the sick, lame, incarcerated, neglected and outcast, left His family, work, home and comfort – at great inconvenience to Himself – to visit His cousin.
Perhaps, when John leapt for joy within his mother’s womb prior to his birth as God cleansed his sins, some part of him foresaw the joy he would know in seeing God, once again before his second birth – into Eternal Life.
There is some strange logic in this for us… Yesterday, the Gospel told us that Christ LEFT His Father’s work in Nazareth to DO His Father’s work in Galilee. That takes great faith in the Will of God.
Today, the Gospel was one of my favourites! The story of the loaves and the fishes, where a multitude of 5,000 men (plus women and children) were provided for and fed with five loaves of bread and a couple of fish leaving baskets and baskets of leftover food afterwards.
There are lessons of logic in those loaves...
Upon hearing this Gospel, I thought about the crowd who numbered in the thousands, without access to sanitation, food or drink, shelter, or family. They surely sat in the hot sun, among the flies and mosquitoes, without shade. These followers of Christ, who waited – leaving their families, work, leisure and homes, at presumably great inconvenience to themselves – taught us ABANDONMENT. They abandoned all Earthly concerns to hear the word of God. Even the comfort of their belly was neglected to hear the message that Christ taught. There were no microphones in those days, and no electricity. Surely, they strained to hear His Holy voice. Surely, they needed patience to wait until the others in the crowd fell silent so that they could hear His Holy Word. And yet, ABANDONING ALL – they stayed there for God. There is some strange logic in all of this – in ABANDONING their lives, they gained eternal life.
I thought also about the flawed, miniscule HUMANITY of the disciples, who came to Christ to tell Him of the impossible problem they had discovered that they wished for Him to solve by human means. This is ME in all my prayers! I find a terrible burdensome matter and then proceed to spend hours and hours dictating to the ALL POWERFUL GOD to advise Him on how to fix it. I am like the fallible disciples dictating to an infallible God. Their solution was to SEND PEOPLE AWAY to find food for themselves. But thank God, God did what He always does in matters like these – He did HIS WLL. He took our paltry fallible human directions and offered instead an infallible DIVINE solution! God does not EVER send us away to fend for ourselves. God made a way, in PROVIDING for the crowd, God PROVIDED all – and nobody was asked to leave.
And then, I thought about the FAITH of the disciples in taking up the baskets and in following Our Blessed Mother’s advice to the servants at the Wedding Feast of Cana, in doing as He commanded! Imagine their dubiousness at carrying baskets with a couple of pieces of bread and fish inside them to feed thousands and thousands of hungry strangers. Imagine their fear of being swarmed or abused by the hungry mobs seeking food once the baskets were empty. And yet, onwards they went, lifting-up the baskets as Christ lifted-up His Cross. Through their FAITH, the disciples became conduits of God’s Holy work, and had the honour – through Grace and no real merit of their own – of forming part of the blessed miracle itself.
Perhaps, this taking up of the baskets and walking onwards through the crowd, in some way foreshadows Christ’s journey through Calvary to the place of the skull, called Golgotha, and onwards through his resurrection and Glorious Ascension into Heaven. After all, some risks and sacrifices were made in even this small act of total faith with the fish. Here, like on Calvary, this faith resulted – ultimately – in revealing the infinite mercy, compassion and providence of God and the salvation of souls!
And there is actually a strange sort of logic to be found in that!
For with faith, everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.