Providing for our need not our greed – Saturday, 5th week in ordinary time- Mark 8: 1-10

Jesus is in the region of the Decapolis or the ten cities. He is in Gentile territory and has already worked two public miracles; for the Syrophonecian woman and for the deaf man.  Unlike a rolling stone that gathers no moss, Jesus is moving and as He does he is gathering a large number of Gentile followers.  All this must have brought a big smile to Mark’s Gentile Christians as they read the ‘Good News’; they too were welcomed by Jesus.

For three days, four thousand disciples (read men in this text) of Jesus have been following Him. They have not eaten any earthly bread but have been feeding on Jesus, ‘the bread of life’. Jesus is fully aware that while He has nourished them with His Word (as He does when we read or hear His Word) they hungered too for bread that would nourish their bodies.

The words of our compassionate Jesus, is the benchmark for every clergyman, every Christian community and every person of good will. Christ does not want to ‘send the people home hungry for they might faint on the way.’ He was aware of the great distance they had traversed just to be with Him, just to hear the Master’s voice. Their need now was bread and they had uttered not a word of protest at the lack of it.

It is amusing, if not amazing to see the incredulity of the disciples. They who had seen the miracle of the feeding of five thousand  in Jewish territory in Chapter 6, they who had picked twelve baskets of broken pieces of fish and bread now ask the Lord “ How can we feed these people with bread here in the desert?”

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