13th February 2021

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Gen 3: 9-24

Ps 90: 2-6, 12-13

Mk 8: 1-10


The Gospel speaks about the second instance of the multiplication of the loaves. Two things stand out in this incident. Firstly, the people follow Jesus, forgetting home and food. This is a sign that Jesus aroused great devotion, up to the point that people followed him and remained with him for three days without thinking about their own needs and security. Secondly, Jesus does not ask the disciples to solve the problem. He only presents it to them and expresses his feelings of concern. To the disciples, the problems seems unsolvable. They try to think of solutions ‘out there’ – Could someone bring bread? But from where? And for how many? They come up with nothing. It does not even occur to them that a solution might be found right in front of them.

Jesus finds a solution. First of all, he asks how much bread is already there among them. “Seven” they say and a few small fish as well. He takes those seven loaves of bread, gives thanks, breaks them into pieces and gives them to the disciples to be distributed among the people. And he does the same thing with the fish. Everyone ate, they were satisfied and bread was left over. This was an unexpected solution, which began with the generosity of the ones with the seven loaves and the few fish. God loves to work miracles with our offerings of love, no matter how tiny or insignificant they might seem.

The disciples looked at the problem in one way, Jesus in another. In the way of thinking of the disciples, there is confusion and doubt; the common ‘human’ way of thinking. Jesus’ solution, on the other hand, originates in an unwavering trust in God’s providence. It is not just by ‘being in the company of Jesus’, i.e., being a Christian and carrying his name, that a person finds wisdom; it is by founding our attitudes, our decisions and our lives on an unshakeable trust in God’s unconditional love and unfailing providence.

Responsorial Psalm: O Lord, you have been our refuge, from generation to generation

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