18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
When we pray, when we come to mass, when we read the scriptures, the real reason we are doing it is because we thirst for God, we hunger for God and nothing else really satisfies. That is the heart of the first reading.
At the same time God thirsts for us far more than we thirst for him. God desires us, longs for us with a love which so far surpasses our love for him. A divine love revealed in Jesus.
True prayer is really the meeting of our desire for God with his desire for us. It is love.
Of course as St Paul teaches in the epistle God’s desire, his thirst, his love for us, far out-weighs ours. Nothing can happen to us, or be done to us, that can ever come between us and God’s love for us revealed in Jesus Christ.
The place above all where our thirst meets God’s thirst for us is the Blessed Eucharist. In the Gospel bread is miraculously multiplied to feed Jesus disciples, to keep them strong on the journey to Jerusalem with him. At Jerusalem he will reveal that the real food the real bread is himself given in love, given in the divine longing for our love, on the cross. That is what he gives us at Holy Mass, the memorial, the making present of this sacrifice of love. The Eucharist, my Body and Blood, do this in memory of me.
So we may not always feel it – but we should remind ourselves. Why am I really here today, why am I going to receive Holy Communion, or make a spiritual communion, - because I believe that what is offered in the Eucharist is the making present of God’s loving desire for me, his thirst for me, it is Jesus giving himself in love for me and to me. And in the end no other food can satisfy me as this does.