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Gospel Reading for February 10, 2024 – Mark 8: 1-10
In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, Jesus summoned the disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.”
His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?” Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They replied “Seven.” 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. They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also. They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets. There were about four thousand people.
He dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
Someone said: “You can’t serve God on an empty stomach.” If Jesus heard this, he’d probably say, “Yes, you’re right!” Even if one is an eloquent preacher, when those listening find it hard to make both ends meet in life, including those who do not know where next to get food for their family, the words, however wonderful they are, will cease to be important. This is why in the Church, there is an office called CARITAS (Charity), that takes care of programs for indigents and victims of all kinds of calamities. If we do not take care of our poor, what do we celebrate at every Eucharistic Celebration? How can we say we offer our lives to God when we do not give of ourselves to those in need as Jesus described in Matthew 25: 31-46 (The Final Judgment)?
When we are asked by the Church to share with the poor, let us bear in mind that whatever we have are all from God, and we are just giving back some of what we have received from him.
Yes, Lord Jesus, you broke bread to feed the thousands, and now you are bread broken to feed all of us, God’s children!