Daily Gospel Reflection – Saturday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
Saturday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mk 8:1-10
In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, Jesus summoned the disciples and 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. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance." His disciples answered him, "Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?" Still he asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" They replied, "Seven." He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd. They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also. They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left ver–seven baskets. There were about four thousand people.
He dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus feeds the crowd of four thousand, which is a wonderful biblical illustration of what I have often called the loop of grace.
The constant command of the Bible is this: what you have received as a gift, give as a gift—and you will find the original gift multiplied and enhanced. God’s grace, precisely because it is grace, cannot be held on to; rather, it is had only in the measure that it remains grace—that is to say, a gift given away. God’s life, in a word, is had only on the fly. One realizes this truth when one enters willingly into the loop of grace, giving away that which one is receiving.
At the outset of the story, the disciples refuse to serve the crowd, preferring to send them away to the neighboring towns to fend for themselves. At the climax of the narrative, the disciples become themselves the instruments of nourishment, setting the loaves and fishes before the people. Within the loop of grace, they discover their mission and are themselves enhanced, transfigured.