In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, “I have compassion 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 faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.” His disciples replied, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.”
Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today Jesuits celebrate the feast of St. Claude La Colombiere, one of our brothers in the Company of Jesus. I would like to share with you a story about him which makes my spine tingle. As a young priest, Fr. Claude was assigned as chaplain to the cloistered Sisters of the Visitation at Paray la Monial, near Lyons in France. The mother superior told him that one of the sisters reported that Jesus was appearing to the sister in the chapel, and showing her his pierced heart, which was on fire. The mother superior asked Claude, as we would say today, “to check it out.”
Skeptically he listened to Sister Margaret Mary, and later told her to ask Jesus about his (Claude’s) last confession. When the sister came for her next visit she said: “Jesus told me to tell you that he can’t remember.” Claude then knew that the apparitions were authentic. This was the beginning of the Sacred Heart devotion in the Church.
How is Jesus working in my heart this winter? What might Jesus ask or invite as I pray today? And what is my response?
—Fr. Bob Braunreuther, S.J., a New England Jesuit, assists in pastoral ministry at Loyola University Chicago, and is minister of the Arrupe House Jesuit Community.
Lord God, I am in this world to show your mercy to others. Other people will glorify you by making visible the power of your grace by their fidelity and constancy to you. For my part I will glorify you by making known how good you are to sinners, that your mercy is boundless and that no sinner no matter how great his offenses should have reason to despair of pardon.
If I have grievously offended you, my Redeemer, let me not offend you even more by thinking that you are not kind enough to pardon Me.
—St. Claude La Colombiere, S.J.