Meditation for Monday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time, Year B

(Num 11:4-15; Mt 14:13-21)

The value of silence cannot be over-emphasized. It is doubtful if one can ever climb the heights of spirituality without nurturing silence as a habit. Silence is formative; it trains us to self-mastery, maturity, and discern properly. Entry into the ‘silent place’ is not to run away from our responsibilities, but to re-energize to carry out our tasks effectively and with joy. Jesus withdrew from the people and went to a lonely place. This was necessary to avoid exhaustion. However, it has a deeper spiritual connotation.

But the crowds with their needs and demands did not allow him to even settle down in the place of silence. He quickly stepped forward to attend to them, healing the sick and feeding the multitude with five loaves and two fish. It is usually the experience that whenever we want to observe the silence that uplifts the souls, crowds of thoughts, distractions, and other interferences would not allow us to settle down in the place of silence. Nevertheless, no matter how little we had a taste of it, silence gives us the vision and strength to achieve more.

Seeing how difficult it can be to recollect and settle down in the silence that our hearts yearn for, we look up to Jesus through the words of the Gospel that He may flood our souls with serenity. Such a touch of ‘divine stillness’ through the word of God can occur even in the noise around and as we run around our daily responsibilities. Like the boat that took Jesus to the silent place, the word of God draws on to that inner place of serenity and peace. It is within this ‘breath of silence’ that we can achieve inner balance, and remain focused and firm despite temptations and life challenges.

Think about the desire for a variety of food and the imbalance that made the people of Israel complain against Moses. Their nagging threw Moses off balance and he got frustrated and asked God to take his life! And imagine the numerous things today that throw us off balance and we act strangely. Therefore, let us enter the ‘boat of the word of God that it may carry us to behold Jesus Christ, in whom we have inner serenity and silence, which energizes us to achieve greatness. Amen.

Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Lagos.
Monday August 2nd, 2021.

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