RIPPLES – MK 8:1-10

“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
because they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
If I send them away hungry to their homes,
they will collapse on the way,
and some of them have come a great distance.”

Ah, dear Jesus, what tenderness and compassion
there is present in the depths of your Heart!
You are sensitive to the needs, the weakness,
the longing, and the most humble experience
of those entrusted to you by the Father.
But what is perhaps even more amazing, Jesus,
is that you open this inner compassion to me,
making it known to me by telling me,
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd.”

And by telling me this, Jesus,
you invite me to share in your own compassion,
to welcome into my heart the waves
which are ever surging deep within your own.
And what are these waves, these surging movements
but those of your tender and loving receptivity
to the ripples cast from the depths of every heart…
every heart crying out for love, for compassion,
for the sheltering care that gives security
in the frailty and darkness of this world?

And when I open my heart, however little,
to feel something of what you, Jesus, feel,
you continue and ask another question:
“How many loaves do you have?”
What is this, my Lord?
I have so little…
nothing in comparison with the crowd.
But you silently welcome my inadequacy,
the poverty of my empty hands,
and simply set to work.

You ask me to draw near to them,
to speak with them and to ask them,
in your name, to sit down on the grass.
And then you take what I have given,
my very flesh and blood, dear Lord,
my hopes, my desires, my fears and pains,
and you thank your Father for it,
breaking it in your tender hands
and distributing it for the crowd.

But what is feeding them, dear Jesus?
It is not me, my own frailty,
but the beauty of your own eternal love!
As long as I remain poor, humble,
and transparent with these empty hands
and this vulnerable, naked heart,
then your grace can pour forth undimmed.
My very poverty becomes a “eucharist”
for the good of my brothers and sisters,
since it is immersed in the Ocean of your Love
and conformed to your own Eucharistic Gift.

My very flesh, my heart, my acts, my words,
simply become like ripples, Jesus,
flowing forth from the center of your Heart,
where, in my weakness, my poverty,
and, yes, in my belovedness,
I abide always, unceasingly.