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10th Sunday After Pentecost - August 1, 2021



The next day…the crowd that was left after the feeding of the 5000 begin to look for Jesus…


Not knowing where He went, they got into boats and go looking in Capernaum where Jesus, in the Gospel of John, appears to stay when He is not traveling and preaching…


The crowd is hungry again, and in this subsistent society are in need of either buying bread for the day or finding that prophet that can take very little physical bread and feed huge numbers…


We also know that between the feeding of the 5000 and the crowd finding Jesus in the morning, Jesus has witnessed the disciples trying to cross what John calls the Lake of Galilee where the wind has grown strong and the water rough…


The disciples are frightened of capsizing and Jesus comes to them walking on the water…and immediately as He identifies himself, the water smooths out and the boat reaches the shore…


Two stories… Both of which point to the tangible and physical needs…the need for daily sustenance and the need for safety from drowning in the Lake…


It seems to me that there is a bleeding edge or a tipping point in all of these stories…that edge or point where fear and hunger become so profound that one can open one’s heart, one’s imagination, one’s sense of possibility so one can see the edges of hope…the edges of salvation; the edges of something much larger that what one either desires or expects.

A place where one can look at possibility without crying out ,”Foul!” Without fully understanding …or perhaps understanding at all…a place or an edge where the evidence of something larger than one’s imagination… just a glimpse or the edge of something so great that one must struggle to begin to wrap one’s mind around it…


I think that it is easy for us to say in our minds or hearts as we listen to or read this Gospel…well, they should have known!


After all, the disciples have been traveling with Jesus…Who did they think He was when the five loaves and two fish fed and satisfied so many?


When they saw Jesus coming near the boat and they were terrified… Why did He have to identify Himself…


Why when the crowd of people reached Jesus on the other side of the Lake did they ask for a sign so that they might see and believe…


A sign indeed! What more do they want? The 5000 were fed and ate their fill of the loaves…

But I believe that this is where the edge of salvation and hope enters the story…It is that really tough, sometimes very painful work that one has to do because there is no other choice…


When the evidence demands a closer look…a look that will cause one to question prior beliefs or cause one to do the hard work that demands one’s very best efforts.

The crowds are drawn into the story because they were physically hungry and they saw; they heard; they witnessed and they ate.


So now they have before them the work of belief…belief in something outside themselves; something outside their experiences; something greater than themselves.