Jesus, help me not to ignore people who say things I don’t want to hear! Amen.

When they saw the miracles Jesus was doing, 5,000 people followed Him to a field. They were tired and hungry, but Jesus didn’t want to send them home. He took five loaves of bread and two fish, blessed them and gave them to the people. Suddenly, there was enough for everyone! Then the people knew Jesus was sent by God.

Some people are experts at ignoring what they don’t want to hear. Your mother says, “We’re leaving in five minutes,” and you tune her out and keep practicing with your Star Wars lightsaber. You ask your father for the 100th time, “Can we get a dog?” but he just pretends he doesn’t hear you.

Of course, when people ignore what they don’t want to hear, it doesn’t usually work. Your mother gets annoyed because you’re not ready to go five minutes later; your father has to listen to you ask 101 times for a dog, because he didn’t answer you the 100th time!

This week’s Gospel (John 6:1-15) is about not ignoring people. Jesus has been teaching people all about God. They’re so fascinated, they keep following Him around. Finally, He ends up with a crowd of 5,000 people listening to Him — and they don’t want to go home.

Ignoring one person might be easy. There’s just no way to ignore 5,000 people! The Apostles tell Jesus to send everyone away, but He doesn’t want to ignore them; He wants to help them.

When you stop tuning people out and listen, you may get some useful information. Maybe you’re leaving in five minutes, but you’re going to see your awesome cousins. Maybe your father is tired of you asking for a dog, but you’re asking again because you’re lonely, and what you really need is someone to talk to.

Jesus was probably tired after all that teaching, but He didn’t ignore people. In fact, He did a miracle to make sure everyone had enough food so they could keep listening and learning. Jesus’ attention to people brought Him even more followers; and now, they understood He came from heaven!