Saturday 13 February 2021

Beyond measure


A great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. If I send them off home hungry they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.’ His disciples replied, ‘Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a deserted place like this?’ He asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said. Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them among the crowd. They had a few small fish as well, and over these he said a blessing and ordered them to be distributed also. They ate as much as they wanted, and they collected seven basketfuls of the scraps left over. Now there had been about four thousand people. He sent them away and immediately, getting into the boat with his disciples, went to the region of Dalmanutha.’

Mark 8:1-10


We are undergoing a food revolution – and not before time! Aware of how many people experience food poverty in our own country and throughout the world, and acknowledging that food waste has a negative impact on the environment, there is a campaign to ‘Love food, hate waste.’ At first, there seems to be a food poverty problem in the gospel reading today. Thousands have gathered in a place where there are no resources, and Jesus fears the people will collapse without food. All they have available to them is a meagre seven loaves. With this small amount of food, Jesus produces enough food for all, and then some. They gather up the scraps of food left over – nothing goes to waste, seven baskets filled with bread from heaven. God is ebullient with his love. We can take so much from this event. A taster for the Eucharistic feast to come, perhaps, or the importance of sharing what we have with others? A lesson in valuing the little we seem to have been given, and discovering its true worth? Learning to trust in God again, who provides for all our needs? What will be our ‘food revolution’ today? How does God want to feed us, and with what? And will we gather up every scrap, a precious remnant of his grace with fruitfulness beyond measure.


God our Father, you fill our lives with so many blessings and gifts. Help us to use the gifts you have given for your glory and the service of others. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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