Faith Daily | 13 February 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Epiphany Five
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.
Amen APBA p535
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: Contributed by rev'd Jan
I love miracles. I believe in miracles. I also love how we are told repeatedly about Jesus’ compassion for the people around him, which always results in the action most needed. In this Gospel account it was food that was of urgent need.
Was it just about feeding hungry people? Important, obviously. In one form or another, the miracle of feeding the thousands with loaves and fishes is told in the four Gospels. It has become a stand out feature of Jesus’ ministry and identity. We have all seen many churches and church vestments with images of the loaves and fish. There is a secular understanding of this most well known ‘event’ of Jesus’ life.
It is about feeding – at many levels. “I am the bread of life” says Jesus. He is all we need to live on. It is about generosity – there was more leftover than seemingly begun with. God’s generosity is beyond our comprehension and imagination – a generosity of love. It is about the resurrection and our continuing life in Christ through the sacrament “remember me in the bread and wine”. The fourfold movement at the heart of the Eucharist was given to us by Jesus with the loaves and fish:
The bread is gathered; the bread is blessed/consecrated; the bread is broken; the bread is distributed.
One of my most favourite Collects is for Maundy Thursday:
FINAL PRAYER: Jan Berry, Sheffield
that we who receive the holy sacrament
of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ,
may be the means
by which the work of his incarnation shall go forward:
take, consecrate, break and distribute us,
to be for others a means of your grace,
and vehicles of your eternal love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.