St. Claude de la Colombiere, SJ
Mk 8: 1-10
In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.”
His disciples replied, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed.
They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Working with whatever little we have
It’s easy to imagine this scene: being in the hungry, approaching crowd, feeling famished and needing new life; or feeling like one of the bewildered disciples, doubting and questioning what Jesus wants to do.
The disciples respond to Jesus in their timeless, disciple-like way: “How?” Can one feed 4,000 with seven loaves and a few fish? Their answer is clear and they see it: there are too many people and they don’t have enough.
This is a miracle story. Not a magic, hocus-pocus miracle but a relationship-response miracle. It’s a miracle story about our faith, something we can’t always see or believe: our faith in God and God’s faith in us.
We hold a miracle of faith in our hands, a relationship with a God who calls us to respond. God, who works with whatever little we have, believes we have enough, that we, as followers of Jesus, are more than enough. With us, and with God, all things are possible.
What has God blessed, broken and given for me to share with all?
Do I sense that I have enough? That I am enough?
—Carla Orlando coordinates Spiritual Direction Services for the Ignatian Spirituality Center in Seattle.
Love consists in sharing
what one has
and what one is
with those one loves.
Love is showing itself in deeds
more than in words.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola