Gospel: Mk 8:1-10
Soon afterward, Jesus was in the midst of another large crowd, that obviously had nothing to eat. So he called his disciples and said to them, “I feel sorry for these people, because they have been with me for three days and now have nothing to eat. If I send them to their homes hungry, they will faint on the way; some of them have come a long way.” His disciples replied, “Where, in a deserted place like this, could we get enough bread to feed these people?” He asked them, “How many loaves have you?” And they answered, “Seven.” Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Taking the seven loaves and giving thanks, he broke them, and handed them to his disciples to distribute. And they distributed them among the people. They also had some small fish. So Jesus said a blessing, and asked that these be shared as well. The people ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now those who had eaten were about four thousand in number. Jesus sent them away, and immediately got into the boat with his disciples, and went to the region of Dalmanutha.
WHAT IS THE MIRACLE IN THE
MULTIPLICATION OF LOAVES
Believe it or not, we can sometimes experience spiritual enlightenment during a political event. I remember during Martial Law in the Philippines, many of us Sisters were attending a convention of about 500 workers in St. Joseph’s College on Labor Day. While we were there, Marcos was giving a talk in Luneta. All of a sudden we found ourselves — actually the whole campus of St. Joseph surrounded by the military because they thought we and the 500 workers might march to Luneta and heckle Marcos. We could not get out. As it turned into evening the Sisters of St. Joseph — worried about how to feed the workers. They cooked all the rice they had and opened all the canned goods they could find but of course these were too little for so many. And so we Sisters from other congregations called up our convents to send food to the workers. Soon cooked food from all parts of Manila found their way to St. Joseph. Like in the Gospel we asked the workers to sit by 50s in the auditorium and distributed the food. The next day we had more than 12 baskets of food left over which we then wrapped for the workers to take home. In our reflection, we came to the conclusion that in the Gospel story the miracle was not really the suspension of natural laws but the conversion of hearts. When the little boy offered his loaves and fishes, all those who actually brought their own food also offered theirs and it turned out to be not only sufficient but more than enough for everybody.
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