Friday, February 11, 2011

Gospel for Saturday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: Our Lady's Saturday

From: Mark 8:1-10

Second Miracle of the Loaves

[1] In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, He (Jesus) called His disciples to Him, and said to them, [2] "I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with Me now three days, and have nothing to eat; [3] and if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come a long way." [4] And His disciples answered Him, "How can one feed these men with bread here in the desert?"

[5] And He asked them, "How many loaves have you?" They said, "Seven." [6] And He commanded the crowd to sit down on the ground; and He took the seven loaves, and having given thanks He broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. [7] And they had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He commanded that these also should be set before them. [8] And they ate, and were satisfied; and took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. [9] And there were about four thousand people. [10] And He sent them away; and immediately He got into the boat with His disciples, and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

1-9. Jesus repeats the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish: the first time (Mark 6:33-44) He acted because He saw a huge crowd like "sheep without a shepherd"; now He takes pity on them because they have been with Him for three days and have nothing to eat.

This miracle shows how Christ rewards people who persevere in following Him: the crowd had been hanging on His words, forgetful of everything else. We should be like them, attentive and ready to do what He commands, without any vain concern about the future, for that would amount to distrusting Divine Providence.

10. "Dalmanutha": this must have been somewhere near the Lake of Gennesaret, but it is difficult to localize it more exactly. This is the only time it is mentioned in Sacred Scripture. In the parallel passage in St. Matthew (15:39) Magadan (sometime Magdala) is mentioned.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

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