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The wisdom of Jesus is
Have you ever taken the time to just rest in God's goodness? Hi, I'm Matthew Kelly. Welcome to Radical and Relevant, where we are exploring the enduring wisdom of Jesus' teachings. In today's reading, from the 15th chapter of Matthew's Gospel, we hear about Jesus healing vast numbers of people and feeding thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and fish. Jesus went on from there and passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up into the hills and sat down there. And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maim, the blind, the dumb, and many others. And they put them at his feet and he healed them. So that the throng wandered when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing, and they glorified the God of Israel. Then Jesus called his disciples and said to them, "I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me three days now and have nothing to eat, and I'm not willing to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way." And the disciples said to him, "Where are we to get bread enough in the desert to feed so great a crowd?" And Jesus said to them, "How many loaves have you?" And they said, "Seven and a few small fish." In commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish. And having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples. And the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
The word that jumps out at me today is satisfied. They all ate and were satisfied. The definition of satisfied is pleased and contented. Our own times are stricken by a crisis of contentment. We live in a dissatisfied age. Very often, even when people have eaten their full of the finest foods, they still find something to complain about and refuse to surrender their souls to the gift of contentment. The phrase that grabs my attention is, "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd." The beautiful and complete humanity of Jesus is on full display here in his compassion and mercy. It is here in these passages throughout the gospel that we see the birthing of the works of mercy that have been the unique mark of Christians from the very beginning. And the idea that strikes me in this passage is the collective glorification of God that spontaneously emerges from the crowd as they see Jesus healing people and feeding people. Goodness has that effect on people. It causes them to pause and reflect and invites them to praise and glorify God. And so goodness is the virtue today's gospel invites us to adopt more fully. Goodness is often underrated and overlooked, but it is much needed in today's world. The power of simple goodness remains unmatched in a world full of need and longing. It isn't even a word you hear too much anymore. It used to be much more common to hear someone described as a good man or a good woman. We should return to recognizing this quality in people and praising it.
What is goodness? A goodness is a form of moral excellence. This explains why it has fallen out of use. In a culture that increasingly believes there is no such thing as morality, moral excellence has no place. Goodness is the quality of being morally virtuous. Those who strive for goodness are motivated by kindness, generosity, and the common good rather than by a single-minded focus on personal gain. Astonish the world with your goodness. That is a worthy goal. Wherever you go, strive to leave behind a trail of goodness. Take a few minutes today to sit quietly and immerse yourself in the goodness of God. It is only by allowing him to fill us with his goodness that we can go out into the world and share that goodness with all who cross our paths. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is as radical and relevant today as ever before. Go out into the world today and astonish people with your goodness. And remember, don't just be yourself. Be the very best version of yourself. All that God has created you to be.
Thank you, ambassadors.
You are changing the world.
Have a great day.
Simon, come sit.
I love you.
Have a great day. [applause]