Feeding the Four Thousand (Mk 8:1-10)
O Jesus, feed me with Your Body and Blood, the Bread of Life.
Picture Jesus blessing the bread in the sight of the crowds.
Earlier (Mk 6:34), Jesus multiplied bread and fish for a Jewish crowd. Now, He repeats the miracle for Gentiles. Some changes occur. Jesus is more active, and the disciples are less involved. The focus in on the bread (the fish come later). Jesus’ actions prefigure what he will do at the Last Supper – giving thanks, breaking, giving and distributing. Mark makes this miracle a promise of the Eucharist.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Because there was a great crowd with nothing to eat, Jesus summoned his disciples, “I have compassion on the crowd. They have been with me three days with nothing to eat. If I send them away fasting, they will faint on the way because many have come from afar.”
His disciples responded, “How can anyone fill them with bread in the wilderness?” Jesus asked, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied. Taking these seven loaves, he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute. And they set them before the people. They also had a few small fish. He blessed them and commanded the disciples to give them to the people. All ate and were filled. Seven baskets of fragments were gathered up. After the four thousand had eaten, he sent them away.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- This story continually stresses that they have nothing to eat and are hungry.
- To “faint along the way” means a Christian who tires of his journey in following Christ.
- The scene is clearly the same as the Last Supper. Jesus takes bread, breaks it and gives it to his disciples.
- The banquet is complete. The hunger is taken away. The people are filled with God’s blessing.
- Now, they can be sent away to live devoutly, just as the priest dismisses the people at the end of Mass.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, I hunger for you. I follow you for days and days, seeking only to be in your presence.
- You do not neglect me. You take care of my needs.
- Without Holy Communion, I will faint along the way.
- If you feed me, I will follow you on your journey to Calvary.
- You multiply your presence. At every Mass, you are the living bread. What more can you do? What more can I ask for?
- After feeding me, you ask me to be a true disciple.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will receive Holy Communion at every possible opportunity.
- I will have a total trust in Jesus. He knows all I need.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
If I send them away fasting, they will faint on the way.