Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Multiply your gifts within me.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus feeding the crowds.)
This is the first of two multiplications of food in Mark’s gospel. (This one is for a Jewish crowd and the other is for Gentiles). This miracle is told in all four gospels and six times altogether, because it prefigures Jesus’ gift of Eucharist. Epiphany means manifestation and these gospels are Jesus’ manifesting himself.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved to compassion for they were like sheep without a shepherd. He began to teach them at great length. When the day was far spent, his disciples said, “This is a deserted place and the hour is late. Send them away to the nearby villages where they can buy something to eat.”
Jesus answered, “You give them something to eat.” They replied, “It would cost two hundred days of wages for bread to feed them all.” Jesus said, “Go, and see how many loaves you have.” They said, “We have five loaves and two fish.”
When they sat down, Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. Looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples to distribute. The two fishes he divided among them all. All ate and had their fill. The disciples gathered up twelve baskets of fragments. Those who ate were five thousand.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- As Jesus begins to teach them, the crowd responds.
- They pass the whole day with Jesus, heedless of their need to eat.
- Jesus responds to their faith and He will provide a great abundance.
- Jesus looks up to heaven, blesses and beaks the bread. He will do this again at the Last Supper. This miracle is just a preview.
- Jesus invites the disciples to help him. The bread multiplies as they distribute it
- Jesus brings all to completion. The people have their fill and twelve baskets are left over for us.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Speak to me, O Lord. I will hear your voice, and you will be my shepherd.
- O Lord, I will stay with you during the whole day of my life.
- O Jesus, your plans for me are beyond my greatest dreams.
- O Jesus, I will help you with your tasks.
- Every day, you multiply the bread from heaven. Help me to love the Eucharist.
- I will eat your flesh and drink your blood, so you can complete your work in me.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- Today, I will seek out Jesus’ teachings.
- My heart will seek the Bread of Life.
Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
The disciples said, “Send them away.” Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.”