Six meals a day – 6th Week in ordinary time – Tuesday-Mk 8:14-21

Earlier, in chapter 8 Jesus had worked for the second time, the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. We are told that there were seven baskets leftover. These plaited baskets called, spuris in Greek, were large commercial baskets, large enough for a man like Paul to be placed in and lowered from the walls of Damascus.  Let’s assume that if a basket of this nature could hold a man like Paul, about eighty kilos in weight, then on an average seven such baskets would give us fifty six kilos of scrap food; not forgetting that the Lord had already fed four thousand.

Where is all this going? In today’s gospel we are told that the disciples have got into the boat with Jesus and then, much to their dismay they realize that they have only ONE LOAF of bread.  Jesus aware of their reaction must have been shocked at their incredulity and ignores them as he continues to teach them about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Herod. They just don’t get it! They were still worried about their one loaf of bread and thinks that he speaks so because they forgot to bring bread! Jesus must have been at his wits end. He is the bread of life who demonstrated that He could work the impossible and feed thousands, and here were his own, his closest, his disciples, who were worried about ONE LOAF OF BREAD!!

His confrontation is hard on them. The disciples are accused of the same behaviour as that of the Pharisees. “Do you not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you fail to see, hear and remember?  What a frustrating moment that must have been for Jesus. His very own understood him not.

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