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Daily Devotional for August 1


August 1                                                            Mark 6:30-46

Although the word "love" is not mentioned in today's reading,
love is the central message of the passage. Jesus seeks for his
disciples and himself a quiet place apart to rest and eat. But,
pursued by a hungering crowd, Jesus foregoes his own needs
to attend to and satisfy theirs, both spiritually and physically.
He feeds their souls and nourishes their bodies.

We tend to think of love as something abstract or dramatic.
Yet today's reading illustrates the way that love often expresses
itself in simple, ordinary actions. The few words of Jesus
connected with this event that are passed on to us concern
concrete, almost mundane instructions to the disciples: at
Christ's command, they organize a hungry community, take
an inventory of resources, and share the bread they have. The
result is a miracle.

Every day God invites us to assist one another in equally
ordinary ways. Someone is in a hospital and we can visit him
or her; someone is in financial need and we are in a position
to help; there is a meeting and someone can help by setting
up the chairs. Such ordinary acts, performed at Christ's request,
almost always issue in a miracle: people are brought together,
nourished, and satisfied. In the process, we, too, are nourished
and satisfied as faithfulness to Christ becomes participation
in the miraculous transformation of life.

Today's Gospel therefore invites us to give concrete expres-
sion to our love for those who enter our lives by serving them.
The outcome will surely be a renewed sense of joy and well-
being. In the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta:

                    "The fruit of love is service.
                    The fruit of service is peace.
                            And peace begins
                                with a smile."¹

¹Mother Teresa, Commencement Address, Gonzala High School, Washington, D.C.,
June, 1988

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.


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