Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Reflection: Mark 6:34-44

Tuesday after Epiphany – Mark 6:34-44

The first statement in this Gospel is a very powerful one.  It speaks of Jesus’ love and compassion for the people who have come to hear Him preach.  Mark writes: “When Jesus saw the crowds of people who gathered around Him, He was “moved with pity.”  Jesus realized that these people were like sheep who had no shepherd.  They had no one to care for them, love them, or lead them.

Jesus was preaching in a deserted place.  As evening drew near, Jesus’ disciples suggested that He send the crowds of people away.  They knew that the people were hungry and that they did not have enough food to feed them so they suggested to Jesus that He send the people to the surrounding villages or farms where they could get some food.  The disciples did not have enough money to supply food for all these people.

Surprisingly, Jesus asked His disciples how many loaves of bread they had.  They told Jesus that they only had five loaves of bread and two little fish.  Jesus then told them to have the people sit down in groups.  The scene that follows is a foreshadowing of the sacrament of Eucharist:  Jesus quietly took the five loaves and the two fish and blessed them.  Then He gave the bread and the fish to the disciples to distribute.  All the people ate until they were satisfied.  Surprisingly, there were several baskets of food left over!

At times in life, we also may doubt that we have sufficient strength, courage, patience, or hope to continue our journey.  These are the moments when we need to turn to Jesus and ask Him for the grace to trust that we do have enough of what we need.  Our limited supply of strength, faith, hope, (you fill in the blank) may seem so very small.  Yet Jesus has the ability to work wonders with just a “little bit.”  The key is for us to stay connected to Jesus.  If we do this, we will have what we need when we need it.

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