In our Gospel reading today, we begin a journey through John 6. Later in the chapter we will be reading and reflecting on the Bread of Life discourse, Jesus’ principle teaching on the Eucharist. But at the beginning of John 6, we read today about a miraculous feeding of the multitudes. Coincidence? I think not. Jesus feeds the people with natural food, then later tells them about how He will feed them (and us) with supernatural food.
A very cool story today in our first reading from Acts 5. A great teacher, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, gets up in front of the Sanhedrin and speaks about these men who are teaching in the name of Jesus. He says this, “If this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” Wise words from a wise teacher. (By the way…Saul [aka St. Paul] was a student of Gamaliel.)
This story reminds me of success and failure - or at least our perceptions of success and failure. I've experienced some pretty epic failures in my life. Even at times when I thought I was doing what God wanted me to do. But in hindsight I see that God had another plan, a different path for me. I was disappointed that my plan didn't work out, but grateful that God opened other doors for me. Hopefully when we "fail," we'll be able to discern the different path God is leading us to.
Father, may we always be open to your will and your way, even when it may not be the way we want to go. Amen.