Scripture ~ “Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” Matthew 15:32
Spiritual Focus ~ “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” Mother Teresa, Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun, and founder of the Missionaries of Charity
Breath Prayer ~ Inhale – I AM, Exhale – satisfied
Story ~ The word hunger is defined as “discomfort, a deep desire or craving for something that is lacking.” In our scripture passage today, the Feeding of the 4000, Jesus recognizes that the people are physically hungry and lacking food. He has compassion for them, performs one of his many miracles, and feeds them. In this second story of Jesus’ feeding the multitudes, we see that people are not only physically hungry, but spiritually hungry as well. Having witnessed and experienced his miracles of healing, the crowds followed Jesus for three days wanting to hear more of his message of God’s love for them.
The idea of being spiritually fed is not just an ancient idea, but one that is heard today by people of faith who long to have their spiritual appetites satisfied. There are many entry points for them to seek satisfaction: worship, preaching, scripture, prayer, just to name a few. However, as we see in the truth of today’s scripture, if spiritual satisfaction is not for the sake of the other, that is, the multitudes or community, the hunger will persist.
Yoga offers a guide in our desire for spiritual satisfaction. Yoga philosophy’s universal and personal ethics, the yamas and nyamas, help us identify abundance in our lives as well as what it means to have enough to be satisfied. Gratitude meditations help us recognize abundance in our lives. There are other meditations that teach us about taking just enough and not letting our ego strive for more than we need. When Jesus fed the multitudes, there was not only enough but there were leftovers in abundance. This story teaches that we can trust God to provide for us in abundance. God’s abundant love removes the hunger for love, enabling us to take just enough to share it with our neighbor.
- In a seated easy pose, find a home base. This can be your breath, a drishti (focused) gaze or a sensation in your body.
- Practice equanimity. This means to accept thoughts without attaching to them. They are just there. Come back to your home base without judgement and an abundance of grace.
- Simply receive; there is no need to do anything.
Receive God’s abundant love and take just enough with you to share with your neighbor.