In this Sunday’s gospel (John 6:1-21), after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus quickly and quietly withdraws to the mountain. Such withdrawal could seem a little unusual. Why not stay and fellowship with the crowd? Why does Jesus leave? Is it that He was exhausted? Or, perhaps, He does not do crowds after all? Or, maybe, He hates to be touched?
I would venture to say that Jesus withdraws for at least three other reasons:
The crowd’s motives were not pure. The attempt to enthrone Jesus was about them, not really Him. Saint Thomas Aquinas notes (in his commentary on this passage) that “People often want as their ruler someone who will provide them with temporal things.” Jesus wants us to approach Him out of love, not just so to get things. Jesus is not the big PEZ candy dispenser in the sky. No one makes Jesus king. He is already king, the divine king. He is king because He is God. There is no possessing Jesus. There is only surrendering to Him, and letting Him freely fill us.
In all of this, there is an invitation for us to examine our hearts regarding Jesus, regarding God:
- Do I seek God simply out of love, simply to love?
- Or do I seek God with entitlement mentality, crying “gimme, gimme, gimme”?
- Do I try to put God in my pocket, and bring Him down to size, my size?
- Do I surrender each day, and let Jesus feed me deep inside?
- Do I really believe that God will satisfy my heart?
- Do I at least tell Jesus if/when I do not believe it?
Grateful with you,