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Monday, August 4, 2003

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St. John Vianney

Numbers 11:4-15
Psalm 81
Matthew 14:13-21

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closing the deal

"Give them something to eat yourselves." —Matthew 14:16

What a fantastic position Jesus has put us, His disciples, in! On one side of us there is the human race, which continually grows hungry and has a daily need for food. On the other side is the Lord, Who has a continual desire to feed, nourish, and even satisfy hungry humanity (see Ps 81:11, 17; Mt 14:20). God has placed us, as His disciples, in the middle and charges us with feeding His people (Mt 14:16; Jn 21:15ff). We are God's middlemen, His ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20), charged with bringing the two parties together.

This is an ambassador's dream: one party with an unceasing demand, and the other Party with an unlimited ability and an unceasing desire to supply that demand (see Lk 22:15). In the business world, candidates would salivate over this kind of job opportunity and would flock en masse to interview for it, even if there were tough conditions involved. Most salespeople would eagerly tackle this challenge, aggressively and creatively finding ways to get the parties together. In the religious world, we don't seem to respond as eagerly at this prospect of being ambassadors.

Let's ask the Lord to give us His heart, a heart moved with compassion for all people (Mt 14:14). He constantly desires to fill the mouths of hungry humanity with His Word and Eucharist (Ps 81:11), whether or not they appreciate Him. He will give us His heart for His people in such a way that we will find rest (Mt 11:29) rather than distress (Nm 11:15) at feeding them. "Go out now and take your place" (Acts 5:20) as God's ambassadors.

Prayer:  Sacred Heart of Jesus, make my heart like unto Thine. Give me Your desire to feed Your loved ones (Jn 21:15).

Promise:  "All those present ate their fill." —Mt 14:20

Praise:  St. John Vianney had the heart of Jesus for his parishioners as he opened his door to an endless stream of people who sought his counsel.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, February 27, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2003