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January 8, 2019 Featured

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book PNG2112Gospel: Mark 6:34-44
As Jesus went ashore, he saw a large crowd, and he had compassion on them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.It was now getting late, so his disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place and it is now late. You should send the people away, and let them go to the farms and villages around here, to buy themselves something to eat.” Jesus replied, “You, yourselves, give them something  to eat.” They answered, “If we are to feed them, we need two hundred silver coins to go and buy enough bread.” But Jesus said, “You have some loaves; how many? Go and see.”The disciples found out and said, “There are five loaves and two fish.”Then he told them to have the people sit down, together in groups, on the green grass. This they did, in groups of hundreds and fifties.

And Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish and, raising his eyes to heaven, he pronounced a blessing, broke the loaves, and handed them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them.They all ate and everyone had enough. The disciples gathered up what was left, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces of bread and fish. Five thousand men had eaten there.

“You, yourselves, give them something to eat.”Behind each miracle there is a lurking question: Why this one? If Jesus could feed a multitude with five loaves and two fish, why not feed every crowd? Why not feed the whole world? One answer, of course, is that Jesus did not come to rectify all our problems from above, but to in­ augurate what Pope Francis has called a “revolution of tender­ness.” This begins from below— with the spirit of mercy, solidar­ity, and fellow ­feeling.The saints did not begin with large budgets and fund­raising schemes. They began with faith and the means at hand, trus­ting that God would make the increase. They did not assume that their charitable programs— caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, or rescuing orphans— would single­handedly resolve large social issues. But they brought their faith, their vision, their resolve, with confidence that God could take these small loaves and fishes and multiply them.We may look around the world and see the overwhel­ming magnitude of  suffering and human need. Why doesn’t someone do something about this? Why doesn’t God do something about this? He answers: “You yourselves, give them something to eat.” That is how God’s miracles begin.

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