Faith Daily | 14 February 2023
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p537
Let your merciful ears, O Lord,
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such thins as shall please you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 8: 14-21
14Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” 16They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” 17And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? 19When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” 20“And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Peter Brady
Bread held a special place for the ancient Israelites. Aside from its importance as a food (grains and bread are believed to have accounted for half their daily dietary intake), bread represented the relationship between God and the Jewish people. In the unleavened bread and manna in Exodus it represented God's salvation and nourishment of Israel and twelve loaves (the bread of the presence) were always kept in the Temple as a symbol of the covenant.
This physical and spiritual importance explains the disciple's dismay when they realise they have only one loaf of bread to share, even though they are on a relatively short journey across the Sea of Galilee. And all of us have probably experienced that sinking feeling when we realise we've set off on a journey and left the travel snacks behind. But the disciples make a critical error. They become so fixated on a perceived problem that they fail to appreciate they have Jesus, the true Bread of Heaven, with them to fulfill their spiritual needs and, given he has just fed combined crowds of 9,000 with just 12 loaves (note that number again), their physical needs as well.
They focus on an immediate earthly thing, just like Herod electing to execute John the Baptist rather than lose worldly face by breaking an oath or the religious leaders concentrating on displays of outward piety that others might see rather than more abstract displays of compassion and love. Jesus calls the disciples to reconsider, to put their worldly worries into perspective and to depend on him for life.
How often do we allow ourselves to be caught up in the worries of everyday life, of what we will do tomorrow and forget that our real future lies with Jesus? He loves us without limits, we just need to open ourselves to Him.
Lord, may our eyes see may our ears hear and may we be blessed to notice Your goodness and receive the food you offer us each day.