Daily Devotional for January 26
January 26 Mark 6:30-46
When Jesus tells his disciples, "You give them something to
eat," he is alluding to both human and spiritual hungers.
Fortunately, our instinct for survival reminds us when the body
is hungry, and we naturally take the time to nourish ourselves.
But there is no comparable instinct to alert us to our spiritual
hunger. Even when we are hard at work building the reign
of God, for example, there is still the danger that our good
works, plans, and concerns can numb the hunger for prayer
and religious meaning. Maybe that is why Jesus takes the
disciples off to a deserted place immediately after a very busy
and apparently successful missionary journey: to remind them
that the real source and the ultimate goal of all their efforts
is the one who alone satisfies the hungry heart.
When Jesus fed the people bread, he satisfied their physical
hunger; when he fed them God's Word, he only increased their
spiritual hunger. Prayer not only satisfies our hunger for God,
but at the same time increases and stimulates it. To fill ourselves
with food when we are hungry is good and natural, but it is
not possible to so fill ourselves with God that we no longer
hunger for God.
If we hunger for food, perhaps it is because we do not hunger
enough for God. I cannot be hungry for God and try to satisfy
that hunger without at the same time wanting to share my
bread with the needy. My prayer must be that I become ever
more hungry for God and ever more ready to help feed others
- with care, compassion, support, and perhaps even at times
simply a cup of coffee or a doughnut.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.