A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Ray Gallego for August 7th, 2023

Gospel according to Matthew (14:13-21)

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” He said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” Then he said, “Bring them here to me,” and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over– twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.

Reflection: We are taught that we should be comfortable in our lives and if we are comfortable then we are doing something right. Well, sometimes that can work against us. What I mean by this is in our lives, it doesn’t matter our age, we have to continually challenge our abilities, our faith, our knowledge and achieve those goals that you may have put to the side. This could mean reading a book, joining a ministry, taking a class, or whatever. The Gospel today prods us to get up out of our comfortable chairs and throw ourselves into offering our resources on behalf of a needy world.  

It calls us to remember, to anticipate, and to put yourself in the story, looking for that divine nourishment. This story reminds me of my sisters and brothers of Cursillo. For those that don’t know what Cursillo is, allow me to give brief explanation:  

The Cursillo Movement is a ministry within Catholic Church that shares the fundamentals of being a Christian as an individual and in unity with others. Cursillo defines the “Golden” rule by Loving thy neighbor. The Cursillo movement helps people discover and fulfill their personal vocations while living their lives with the Word of God. The purpose is to unite Christian Communities within our neighborhoods, parishes, work situations, and other places where people live the greater part of their lives. In summation, Cursillo is a place where you find “Like-Minded” sisters and brothers. And the Cursillo Retreat is the BEST gift you can give to yourself.  

The volunteers of Cursillo are powerful people that use their God given skills to bring a friend to Christ and maintaining that relationship. To a new person, it all starts by attending a 3-day Retreat that is supported by many volunteers. These volunteers give up their personal lives for the life of others. They provide support in many ways and one of them is in hospitality. There is a group of volunteers (10-20) that plan out the meals, purchase the food, set up the kitchen and dining hall. After this they cook 3 square meals (GREAT MEALS) for three days.   There are also volunteers that clean your rooms, the bathrooms, and the showers. I could go on with the volunteers and their duties, but the point is this.

Today’s Gospel started with Jesus looking for a place to rest and to grieve for the loss of His brother. But when He saw all the people in need and in desperation, He put His personal needs to the side and served His people.   That’s what the magnificent people of Cursillo do … even in their busy lives, they put everything on HOLD and serve others. I am proud to be part of this movement.    

Action of the Day: Review what you are doing in your life. Are you too comfortable. What’s on your bucket list that you’ve wanted to accomplish. You may think you can’t do it or you’re too young or too old but when you put your mind to it, you could do it with God at your side, Jesus embracing you, and by the Holy Spirit illuminating you.

Audio Reflection:

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