LISTEN TO THE AUDIO HERE.
Jesus speaks to you today, saying:
“Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.”
In the Gospel according to St. Mark, there is a place where Jesus commands His disciples to make a boat ready for Him to cross the sea in order to escape the crowds. Quite literally, He asks them to make the boat persevere or continue steadfast.
This does not seem like such a great detail, because what does the boat persist in but sitting there. Pretty meaningless in the eyes of the world, but to the eyes of faith we see great faith in this boat. No, boats cannot have faith, but they can persist in what they were made for.
The boat waits as a boat. It persists in its boat-ness, simply waiting to be used properly, content in its lot in life. It remains steadfast in that which it was made for: floating. This shows forth an intelligent creator where, what He creates, works.
Wood floats, water is wet, and crafters ply their craft making use of the constant way wood floats on water to constantly make boats. God has made all of Creation to work in a certain way. Creation works.
This becomes extremely important when we hear about Jesus feeding the 5000. In this miraculous feeding, we get to see creation beginning to work as it was intended. Food is supposed to feed, to nourish, to fill up. However, we find ourselves eating at least 3 meals a day.
So when five loaves of bread and two fish are unleashed upon 5000 people actually produce leftovers, we are beginning to get a glimpse of what food was originally supposed to do: actually feed us. However, this is not the end of the story for bread. It is not just made to feed us so that we will never be hungry again, but it will be pointing to its greatest and perfect use.
This finally comes to fruition in Acts chapter 2 when we hear the disciples persisting in “…the Apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
Teaching; every teaching ever, all fellowship, all prayers, and all bread has been waiting since the dawn of Creation, persisting steadfast in the ways they were made for, all in order to bring Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, true God and true man to your eyes, your ears, your nose, your fingers, and your tongues.
Now that all of this has been elevated to its true purpose in the
, it is
your turn, because Christ did not come as a boat or a piece of bread. God has
taken the form of a man. A real man. Like you in every way, in order to
accomplish His greatest work: your salvation upon the cross. Kingdom of
40 days after Easter, Jesus ascended into heaven. 50 days after Easter, Jesus sends His Holy Spirit to save and guide His baptized believers. And with this divine guidance of infinite wisdom freely given to them, they go to Church.
In faith, with the Holy Spirit, the Apostles and disciples and every believer persisted in; continued steadfast in, what they were created for: communion with God. And they did not seek Jesus in mystic, ethereal paradigms, they did not work towards Jesus through progressive sanctification, and they did not find Jesus in their neighbors or their neighbors’ hearts.
They sought Jesus out in His Word, the Word that was handed over to the Apostles with the Holy Spirit causing them to remember all that Jesus said. They worked at congregating and found Jesus in the breaking of the bread, not because they felt like Jesus was there in their hearts or that He magically appeared, but because Jesus promised to be there and was.
Repent. Not only do we seek love and trust in earthly things, but we believe that when we find the Lord, that it is purely a spiritual and emotional experience. That boats, bread, and prayers are the spiritual places where we meet with God and feel overcome by His presence, instead of where Jesus says He will be.
When Jesus promised that His Name would dwell forever with His people on earth, everyone thought He meant in
and in the Temple.
But these were simply temporary things pointing to that which would actually
fulfill His promise.
It would not be a temple made with hands. It will not be a city that could be plundered and destroyed. It will not be in bread which rots and wastes away and it will not simply be a meal that memorializes a past event that has nothing to do with today.
Or nothing to do with you in your suffering. Ideas, thoughts, and emotions do not hold up in difficult times. Memorial meals do not alleviate pain and loss. Earthly things do not give heavenly comfort, until Jesus.
Now water covers a multitude of sins. Now words produce everlasting salvation. Now bread and wine give the forgiveness of sins. Now a man can proclaim the Word of God in all these things and that Word brings all these things to pass for the Christian.
From the beginning, Jesus had in mind to leave His Spirit with His holy Church and by the Apostle’s example, they understood that too. For it was right after Pentecost that they steadfastly devoted themselves to hearing the Word, Communing, and praying. Not because they are nice things to do, but because in these things Jesus promises His presence.
In Jesus, we see humanity come to its full purpose: communion with God. Not just communing with God, but communing on God, Body and Blood. Not just being with God, but being in God, Body and Soul. Your true purpose in life; what you were made for comes to pass when the Gospel in preached in its purity and the Sacraments administered according to it.
I am the Bread of Life (Jn. 6:35), Jesus says, and death is swallowed up forever (Is. 25:8) when this meal is placed in front of you. For we are not simply eating here, but are being made a part of the Body of Christ for the forgiveness of sins, because this is what you were made for.