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sandAs I’ve said, there are very simple and direct statements in the letters of John, as today he says: Beloved, love one another because love is of God. (1Jn 4:7). A few verses later, it goes on to say more about this love. In this is love: not that we have loved God but that God loved us and sent his Son

The gospel for today is a familiar one, Matthew’s recounting of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. It seems to me a perfect illustration of the first reading since when the disciples recognize the late hour they go to Jesus with their concern and the need of the people to eat. When he says “Give them something to eat yourselves,” they protest, seeing the impossibility of finding enough food for everyone. So Jesus takes the situation in hand, asking about the possible (“How much food do we have to work with?”) and providing from a ridiculously small amount enough for everyone. What I recognize today is the beautiful interplay between God’s love in the person of Jesus whose ability to solve the situation is never in question and the disciples who, although they recognize the difficulty, are at a loss to solve it but (in spite of themselves) continue to be participants in the solution to the end when Jesus gives them the food to distribute and then the charge to gather up what’s left. All he does (it appears) is bless the food, ask questions and give directives.

How might we stay awake today for the opportunities of such a dance with God in helping the people who come our way? It seems the way to proceed is to let God lead and let go of the necessity of knowing all the steps when we enter the dance.