Lectio Divina for 30 mins (followed by 40 more minutes of typing+reflecting) on Mark 8: 1-10. Some of my thoughts…
1. The crowd of 4000 up and left their homes and traveled with Jesus as he traveled for 3 days. Present day – Would anyone just up and leave their homes and follow Jesus for that long? They probably didn’t plan the trip. They clearly were not prepared for a long, far journey — and yet they went.
2. The crowd did not prepare well for a long trip. They had been with Jesus for 3 days but didn’t have any food. They didn’t turn back and head to some town with food. They just stayed with Jesus. Jesus even tells us “If I send them away hunry to their homes, they will collape on the way” — yet the crowd didn’t worry about leaving. They chose to remain with Jesus despite the fact they couldn’t eat. They had to have known they didn’t have didn’t have food for the journey – but they remained.
3. Because they had no food – Did anyone leave? Did some opt to head home in search of food? Would I have been part of the crowd that stayed or left?
ENOUGH BREAD TO SATISFY
1. Jesus doesn’t mention bread, it is the disciples that offer “bread” as the option. Is this narrow-sightedness? Is this a reasonable ‘jump-to-conclusions’?
2. The disciples phrase it as “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?” Jesus only said that the crowd had nothing to eat and were at the point that travel would have made them collapse — it seems an interesting jump to think they should feed the crowd until they were “satisfied” rather than to feed the crowd so that they had just enough so as not to collapse.
3. Clearly the bread and satisfaction question should make one think of Jesus. Jesus is the bread of life. If they eat of him they will be satsfied. Even in a time or place of desolation Jesus is there and offers life-giving bread – himself. He is the one loave which satisfies all.
4. Bonus thought: Does it make sense that they would have been in a deserted place and sought bread? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to seek the ingredients for making enough bread? [I mean, I don’t know how hard it would be to make bread, but if they were already down to 7 loaves and knew it wouldn’t be a good option to feed everyone, then hy was that their “go-to” food-solution?]
LOAVES AND FISH
1. The feeding of the 4000 started with loaves of bread. Jesus performs a miracle of feeding 4000 with 7 loaves. Afer the bread was distribited we then earn “They also had a few fish”. Jesus then “aaid the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also”. :: The disciples thought of how to feed the crowd with only bread. Jesus does that and more. He gives the crowd bread, but then he also gives them fish. Jesus is the bread that satisfies and he points the way to God the Father.
2. “They ate and were satisfied”. The fact the crowd eats and was satisfied I almost overlooked because I expected the crowd to eat and be satisified. It is Jesus performing the miracle of the Loaves and the Fish after all! :: The crowd was not only fed they were fed so much as to be satisfied and have leftovers. Even if the crowd was hoping to be fed in some way did they expect to eat so much as to be satisfied?
3. If you come to Jesus – just bring yourself, Jesus will handle all the rest! Do not worry about what you will eat, etc. Faith and Trust in Jesus alone is what you need and you will be more than satisfied!
THEY HAVE BEEN WITH ME
1. Jesus said “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat.” He says “me” not “us”. It seems fitting that he would say “me” and not “us” because it is Jesus afterall. But would the disciples have expected him to say “us”? But if the disciples understood their role as a disciple – even though they were apart from “the crowd” they were still following Jesus just like the crowd. And so the “me” reminds us that it is Jesus who is the central figure. Jesus is the one we should be following, no matter how great a distance or challenge it is to do so.
HE DISMISSED THE CROWD
1. “He dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples…” The crowd was so committed to following Jesus that Jesus had to dismiss them in order for the crowd to leave. They withstood 3 days away from home and hunger – they seem like a crowd that would not readily disperse – they were following Jesus wholeheartedly. Which is wonderful – would we not all be that way in how we follow Jesus! And so it took an active command of dismissal for the crowd to leave. Had Jesus not gotten into the boat and sailed away would the crowd have stayed despite the dismissal? I imagine they would have just stayed for sure!
RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps. 90
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants!
And then we read in Mark 8: 1-10 that this crowd that has followed Jesus is numbering their days aright and have wisdom of heart since they have chosen to up and follow Jesus. And in turn Jesus’ “heart is moved with pity for the crowd”.
Gospel MK 8:1-10
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.