Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection 4-21-23

Friday, 2nd week of Easter, April 21, 2023

Acts 5:34-42; Ps 27: 1, 4, 13-14; Jn 6:1-15

A long time ago, a friend told me, “Don’t pick a fight with God, you can’t win.” What my friend was referring to was my unwillingness to fully commit my life to God. I believed in God, but was not attending church at the time, and also I did not believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I was battling God, and frankly, I was losing, miserably. I was not happy but was not really sad and despondent either. I knew something was not right in my life. Yet, I felt that little tug, “Hey, are you there?”  “I am.” I was fighting to not hear it, but over and over again, those words kept coming back. I felt like Gamaliel, for if it was from God, I would not be able to stop it. I began to listen to that voice, and suddenly, I was at the foot of the hill where Jesus was. I cried out, “Help me Lord, for I am weak,” was all I could muster. But God heard and poured out His love for me. My world changed, and I began to believe.  

The disciples were there too at the hill. Looking at the multitudes wondering how they were going to eat. A very human thought and worry. There are thousands here, how will we all eat? They are hungry! But Jesus supplies them with a miracle of feeding them all, with enough left over to feed the disciples for a while. While we look in this as a physically feeding of nourishment, Jesus was using this opportunity to show us how we could be fed for all eternity. The feeding of the five thousand was a prefiguring of Jesus Himself providing his body and blood for us in our eternal feast of the Eucharist. If only we can see that in this passage, then our desire to be fed would be replaced with a desire to be closer to Jesus. There is no better way to get closer to Him than to receive His body and blood in the Eucharist. 

We have finished the Easter Octave, and now, as we continue our 50 days of celebration up to Pentecost, it is time to receive Jesus through the Eucharist, be forgiven of our sins, and listen to the voice of our Lord. “Are you there?” “I AM,” He says. There is nothing better to celebrate in our lives than the resurrection of our Lord and spending time with Him in prayer and the sacrifice of the Mass. At least for me, it is better than picking a fight with God (which I have no chance of winning!).

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL