Jesus withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves." Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish." And he said, "Bring them here to me." Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:13-21
They Need Not Go Away
Radical hospitality is a glass of water
a broken loaf shared all around
a little child's laughter lighting up
the weary and the needy in the night.
The hospital halls reek of loneliness
the bedridden and the lonely alike
a smile, a touch and moment share
would change the course of history.
They need not go away from this land
there is plenty here for the whole crowd
do not shun them nor send them home alone
for they have harvested the fields already.
We cannot do without the ones
who God loves with fierce compassion
we cannot set our tables today without
making room for those who show us God.
Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.