Friday 8 January

A holy exchange


As Jesus stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length. By now it was getting very late, and his disciples came up to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place and it is getting very late. So send them away, and they can go to the farms and villages round about, to buy themselves something to eat.’ He replied, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’ They answered, ‘Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii on bread for them to eat?’ ‘How many loaves have you?’ he asked. ‘Go and see.’ And when they had found out they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ Then he ordered them to get all the people together in groups on the green grass, and they sat down on the ground in squares of hundreds and fifties. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the people. He also shared out the two fish among them all. They all ate as much as they wanted. They collected twelve basketfuls of scraps of bread and pieces of fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men. (Mark 6:34- 44)


Quite often people are measured by what they have or own. We, ourselves, may delight in new possessions or be envious of those who have things that we don’t or perhaps feel proud when we have something we think is better than our neighbours! And, yet, there is far more to being human than the things we possess. All of us have been given gifts to use for God. Sometimes these gifts may appear to be so small, too small, or perhaps they are overlooked and ignored. God uses the little that we have, if we offer it to him, for him to do great things – just like he does in the Eucharist. We offer to God from what he has already given us. And in that holy exchange we receive heavenly food, the body of Christ, the bread of life.


Lord God, I offer you all that I am, and all that I have, as little as it is, knowing that you can do great things with even the smallest gift.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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