For the priests and seminarians at the Institute of Priestly Formation at Creighton University.
“His disciples were hungry …” (Mt 12:2)
With today being the feast of St. Bonaventure, and with Bonaventure being a great doctor the Church, I thought I would consult him on the episode recounted in today’s Gospel. In doing so, I discovered that the Seraphic Doctor gives a lot of attention to a detail that I would have otherwise overlooked: Jesus’ disciples were hungry. Though he gives various causes of the disciples’ famished state—the press of their apostolic labor, their voluntary poverty, their desire to give an example of austerity—I found his last reason most intriguing. The deepest reason for the disciples’ hunger, says the Seraphic Doctor,
is found in the sweetness of Christ’s word, to which the disciples were so powerfully attracted that they forgot to eat. So the Psalmist says: “How sweet are your words to my palate! Sweeter than honey in my mouth (118:103). –Bonaventure, Commentary on Luke, vol. I, 459
Powerful attraction to the sweetness of Christ’s word. In other words, the physical hunger of the disciples both reflects and sharpens their spiritual hunger. This dynamic strikes me as being not only a pious allegory, but the very heart of Jesus’ dispute with the Pharisees. Read the rest of this entry »