Pastor's Desk: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 28th July 2018 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End: Jesus comes to Serve

In John’s version of the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus performs this great miracle and it is the sign the crowds were waiting for. There is a lot of rich symbolism in this passage referring to Jesus as the Bread of Life, the one who will satisfy people’s hunger, the great teacher. But perhaps the final lines tell us a lot about the type of ‘king’ Jesus really is. The crowds are so enthused by Jesus’ miracles and teaching that they want to ‘take him by force and make him king’. Jesus tries to discourage them from their own ideas of kingship. His kingship involves a different path to the one the crowd are expecting. Jesus is cautious and to escape the attention, perhaps to be alone and pray, he takes himself out of this situation and retreats to the mountain. It could be tempting to give in to the crowd and have them declare you as their king. Jesus’ example of leadership is service in today’s gospel, feeding the people, nourishing the people, meeting their needs. It also shows us how God can work with what we have to offer, no matter how little that sometimes is, he can turn this into much fruit.

A final lesson may be for those in authority of any sort that they know when it is time to leave the people they serve, to reflect on their mission, to recharge and nourish themselves. Only in this way can they listen to the Spirit and experience the inner freedom necessary to lead as servant.

Jane Mellett