A reading from the gospel according to Mark 8:1-10:
1 In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, Jesus summoned the disciples and said,
2 “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat.
3 If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.”
4 His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?”
5 Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They replied, “Seven.”
6 He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd.
7 They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also.
8 They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over seven baskets.
9 There were about four thousand people. He dismissed the crowd
10 and got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
Reflection: From scarcity to surplus
People have been following Jesus wherever He went. The gospel reading above says they have been doing so for three days. Now they have run out of food. How to feed these thousands of hungry mouths was a big question to the disciples but it was an opportunity for the Lord to show them His power and mercy. Someone offers seven loaves of bread and another a few fish. After Jesus had blessed them, this little offering miraculously multiplied so that everyone had his or her stomach satisfied and still a lot left to fill seven baskets.
Our God is merciful. He does not want people to go hungry. In our gospel story, Jesus was moved with pity. The people were not complaining unlike the Israelites in the desert during the Exodus. Yet the Lord knew their problem and He moved fast to provide their need.
No doubt, our God is generous. He is the God of multiplication. This story of the multiplication of bread and fish is our source of hope and strength. We have seen Jesus turn scarcity to surplus. Let us offer whatever we have and ask the Lord to bless and multiply them. We will not go hungry if we believe in His power and generosity.
Just as Jesus is merciful and generous to us, may we learn to be generous and merciful to others. May we always find ways to help our needy neighbor.
For further reflection, go here.