The feeding of the multitude
Saturday, February 10, 2018
5th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1 Kgs 12:26-32, 13:33-34
Gospel: Mk 8:1-10
Soon afterwards Jesus was in the midst of another large crowd that obviously had nothing to eat. So he called his disciples and said to them, “I feel sorry for these people because they have been with me for three days and now have nothing to eat. If I send them to their homes hungry, they will faint on the way; some of them have come a long way.”
His disciples replied, “Where in a deserted place like this could we get enough bread to feed these people?” He asked them, “How many loaves have you?” And they answered, “Seven.”
Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Taking the seven loaves and giving thanks, he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute. And they distributed them among the people. They also had some small fish, so Jesus said a blessing and asked that these be shared as well.
The people ate and were satisfied. The broken pieces were collected, seven wicker baskets full of leftovers. Now there have been about four thousand people. Jesus sent them away and immediately got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Jesus’ concern for the basic needs of people was apparent when he went out of his way to feed them. God is interested in our temporal affairs as much as he is interested in our eternal destiny. That is why we should not feel helpless in times of need. Those who call upon the Lord will never be disappointed. “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22).
This Scripture passage disturbs us: “They cried for help, but there was none to save; even to the Lord, but He did not answer them” (Psalm 18:41). Understood in the light of today’s Gospel reading this passage means that God has his own way of expressing concern for human needs. “My thoughts are not your thoughts nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:6-11).
Pivotal to God’s unique way of addressing the needs of his people is his commandment of love. He wants us to be stewards of one another by being keepers of our brothers (see Gen. 4:9). That is why in Mark’s version of today’s Gospel Jesus told his disciples who were already overwhelmed by the number of people to feed and the unavailability of food in that deserted place: “You yourselves, give them something to eat!” (Mark 6:37).
Now we understand why most of our prayers are not heard. It is not that God is unconcerned but that the people he has appointed instruments have turned a deaf ear on their call to stewardship. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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