I once made a retreat at the place on the Sea of Galilee where, archaeologists say, Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and where he held that memorable breakfast picnic after his resurrection. An abundance of grass watered by springs, and a large flat rock on the beach furnish evidence about this. As I walked the beach and sat on large rocks to pray, I marveled that I may have been touching the very things that Jesus touched 2000 years ago.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus himself was reaching back some eight centuries to make his own the words of Isaiah about the longed-for Messiah: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

What a gift our faith is! We believe in the Salvation History that God has been writing since the creation of our race, and we see ourselves situated along that long path. One day we will sit with God and look back at our footprints in the sand of our lives – sometimes paired with God’s as we were led along, and at other times only a single set, when God was carrying us. Our hearts will almost burst with gratitude.

—Fr. Jack O’Callaghan, S.J. assists the Dean at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine with programs in Ignatian Spirituality.