The multiplication of the fishes and loaves in the Gospel of Mark uses the same language that we use to describe what happens at Mass when the priest takes the bread and wine. May we be nourished every time we go to pray, so that we can nourish others with the gift of our lives.
The Lord takes pity on the crowd and he nourishes them through teaching, compassion and food. Following his example, we are called to do the same as we help our brothers and sisters by building them up…body and soul.
Anyone who loves cooking knows the wonderful smell of fresh baked bread. Our bodies require daily nourishment to thrive, and we rely on spiritual food for our relationship with the Lord. Jesus offers both in John’s account today of the miracle of the fish and loaves.
The Lord warns the disciples about the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod, and he reminds them of the multiplication of the loaves to feed thousands. It’s a good insight that both good and bad things start small, and like leaven in dough, they can make big differences.
Jesus recalls how a little yeast can transform dough – making it grow larger into something new. In our spiritual lives this process can work for both good or evil, and we are invited today to embrace God’s grace into our hearts, changing us into daughters and sons of God.
Our daily need for nourishment reminds us of our basic dependence on wholesome food. What’s more, we recognize that we depend upon the Lord for spiritual grace as well. As we ponder the multiplication miracle in today’s Gospel, I suggest that we draw near to the Lord with Gratitude and Petition – responding in love to the one who knows our needs and longs to provide the sustenance we require.