A great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus 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 had 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.
It’s wonderful to remain with the Lord and He will take everything in charge of our life. Since He is filled with love and compassion, His presence in our life, will give us the same compassion in our life. If we wish to profit from His presence in our life, it’s important that we open ourselves. It’s not enough that we open ourselves, but also be able to share with the Lord, what we have, though it may not be great and wonderful.
These little bread and fish can represent today as little moment of our life, our presence when our friends suffer, and our time to listen to others. It can be a simple word, or gest. These little bread may not be always that easy to give, because it’s all we may have for us.
It is in this giving ourselves, giving us totally, as we are, and our little bread that God wishes to multiply, for us and for others. For our surprise, once all are satisfied, we will find that there would be plenty at our disposition. It’s in our own emptiness, in our capacity to empty ourselves that we will find the multiplication of the Lord.
Action of the day: Share your little bread with the Lord.
«They have nothing to eat»
Fr. Carles ELÍAS i Cao
Today, in our times of inclemency and anxiety, Jesus also calls us to tell us he feels «sorry for these people» (Mk 8:2). Today, with the peace process in crisis, fear, apathy, banality and evasion may abound: «and now have nothing to eat».
Whom is the Lord calling to? The text says: «So Jesus called his disciples» (Mk 8:1), that is, He calls me, not to send them home hungry, to give them something to eat. Jesus sympathizes with them —this time in heathen land— because they are hungry.
But, alas! Sheltered in our little world, we say we can do nothing about it. «Where in a deserted place like this could we get enough bread to feed these people?» (Mk 8:4). Where shall we find a true and firm word of hope while knowing the Lord will be with us every day till the end of time? How can we tell the believers and the non-believers that violence and death are no solution?
Today, the Lord simply asks us how many loaves have we. Whatever we have, this is what He needs. The text says «seven», a symbol for the heathen, just as twelve was a symbol for the Jewish people. The Lord wants to reach us all —this is why the Church, from its Catholicism, wants to recognize itself— and is asking for your help. Give Him your prayer: it is a loaf of bread! Give Him the Eucharist you have celebrated: it is another loaf of bread! Give Him your decision to reconcile with those you love, with those that have offended you: still another loaf of bread! Give Him your sacramental reconciliation with the Church: another loaf! Give Him your little sacrifice, your fasting, your solidarity: and still another loaf! Give Him your love for his Word that soothes and gives you strength: more bread! Anyway, give Him whatever He asks from you, though you may believe it is not worthwhile.
As St. Gregory of Nyssa says: «He who splits his bread with the poor becomes a part of He who, for us, wanted to be poor. The Lord was poor; do not be afraid of poverty».