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Faith Daily | 1 August 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p568

Almighty God,

whose beloved Son for our sake

willingly endured the agony and shame of the cross:

give us courage and patience

to take up our cross daily and follow him;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 14: 13-21

13Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” 18And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.


In our previous reading we learned of the death of John the Baptist on the orders of King Herod.

Hearing of this while deep into his ministry, Jesus retreats to an isolated location where he can be safer from the reach of Herod, but huge crowds of people follow him. These people are likely to have lived at a subsistence level in their access to food and so by leaving their towns to follow Jesus they took a considerable risk in exposing themselves to food insecurity and possible great hunger.

In this remote place Jesus performs one of the great miracles told of in the Bible by feeding more than five thousand people with few resources. He acts according to God’s will that hungry people be fed. In contrast, John’s head is served on a platter as a grotesque addition to the offerings at Herod’s party. Not a death-bringing meal, Jesus’ meal is a life-giving feast from the abundance of God.


For all who go hungry today, we offer up a prayer for hope.

For all who hurt, we ask for some relief.

For every soul that’s struggling right now,

we pray grace meets them wherever they are.

To all those who are missed and missing from the table,

we dedicate this meal and we live, in honour of them.


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