Faith Daily | 11 February 2023
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p535
Father of all,
who gave your only-begotten Son
to take upon himself the form of a servant
and to be obedient even to death on a cross:
give us the same mind that was in Christ Jesus,
that, sharing in his humility,
we may come to be with him in his glory;
where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 8: 1-10
In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, 2“I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. 3If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.” 4His disciples replied, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” 5He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” 6Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. 7They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. 8They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 9Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. 10And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Allan Bell
Like many of you I have heard this story before and yet this time it was not the miracle itself that spoke to me but the compassion Jesus expresses for the crowd and that he then takes action to relieve their hunger. It shows how important these are to him and sets an example that we should follow.
So for me that is the message in this passage. Yes it also contains an impressive miracle feeding so many with so little but we should not be surprised that the Son of God can do such things. We do not expect that having compassion and taking action to help others will achieve a miracle on the scale of feeding the four thousand but it is what we are called to do and just maybe our help and compassion is in some small way miraculous for someone in need.
I also like the way Mathew in his brief matter of fact style ends the story in verses 9 and 10. Jesus moves on to spread his message without waiting for or expecting the crowd’s adulation. In some way this is an example as well. Having had compassion for the plight of others and taken action to help them we are called to do more of God’s work without pausing for congratulations. Our reward is in heaven. There are always people in need. There is always more to do.
FINAL PRAYER A prayer from A Prayer Book for Australia
God of mercy and pity,
remember the homeless, the destitute, the sick, the aged,
and all who have none to care for them.
Heal those who are broken in body and spirit,
and turn their sorrow into joy.
Help us to minister to their needs,
for the love of your Son,
who for our sake became poor,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.