Beads of Joy 02-13-10
Can't Send Them Away Hungry
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Yet another spectacular miracle of Jesus feeding the crowds. In early January I blogged about the feeding of the five thousand, and in that miracle Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fish. Today we are reading Mark 8:1-10 (Feeding of the Four Thousand) in today's gospel Jesus multiples seven loaves a few fish. Let's be clear that these two miracles are two distinctly different miracles. With the five thousand fed it took place at the head of a lake near the Jordan heading towards Bethsaida, and with today's miracle of feeding the four thousand that took place at the eastern shore near the region of Decapolis. In my research in several places it seemed to want to make it clear that these two miracles that happened near each other in time, weren't mistaken or thought to be the same one.
In this miracle Jesus called the disciples, and He had such compassion for the crowd; mostly because they had been with Him for several days. Jesus said, "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat." V.2 The exhaustion of the multitude must have been overwhelming. I can only imagine what it must have been like to travel three days with a crowd of thousands. Think of it, it was pretty much primitive in their travel habits, no buses or trains or planes. You couldn't just pull your camel into a local gas station, jump off the camel and hit the restrooms. Ah, now you see what I mean. Aside from that obvious challenge, what about cleanliness with just washing and clean clothes. Our perception of how we live is unlike anything how they lived. But then that's all they knew; and I would say there interest and desire to be with Jesus made the whole experience well worth it.
Another very interesting part of this miracle is that when Jesus told the disciples that He didn't want to send the crowd away hungry. The disciples to some degree, confessed the fact that they themselves were insufficiently able to feed the crowd with their own resources. "Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?" v.4 Now the miracle of Jesus multiplying the five thousand loaves only recently happened just prior to this. I wonder why the disciples couldn't remember the mighty miracle Jesus did with what little He had. In this particular miracle, Jesus sat down, blessed the bread and fish and gave thanks, broke the bread and distributed it to the crowd. When all were satisfied, they picked up the fragments and filled seven baskets and Jesus then sent the crowd home. Wow, how blessed to have been there.
What we see here in this miracle is that no one on earth can truly satisfy the hunger of another. It's only God alone who must be in our lives to fulfill our hunger pangs. Let us open our hearts and allow Jesus to be the one, the only one who satisfies the hunger we feel deep inside us. I know that feeling, back before my whole life changed with Jesus being part of it; I use to feel a pit of something inside of me missing something. I could never figure out what it was. I use to work with my dad a lot thinking I was in need of a career to fulfill my life, well that was fun but it never filled that space. Even with a relationship, I enjoyed it, in fact I loved it, but "she" to could not fill that space inside my heart. There is a special place inside all of us where Jesus is to reside. No one else, and nothing else can ever fill it, we may think something else can; but the reality is, it's only made for Jesus.
Is your hunger for God's word and Jesus in your life, drawing you ever so much closer to Him?
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO