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FEB. 13. ORDINARY TIME. WK. 5. SAT. MK. 8.1-10.

Updated: Aug 24

A great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. If I send them off home hungry they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.’ His disciples replied, ‘Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a deserted place like this?’ He asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said. Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them among the crowd. They had a few small fish as well, and over these he said a blessing and ordered them to be distributed also. They ate as much as they wanted, and they collected seven basketfuls of the scraps left over. Now there had been about four thousand people. He sent them away and immediately, getting into the boat with his disciples, went to the region of Dalmanutha.

This Gospel reading contains a very simple message for believers and that is God cares for his people and provides for our needs. Certainly, here we are talking about food for people who are hungry, but the message we should take from the reading is much broader than that; - it reveals Christ’s Love and Compassion for his people; - despite the fact they are sinners!

“I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. If I send them off home hungry, they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.” In these few simple words Christ reveals the sentiments in his heart towards his People; - sentiments of love and compassion, and lacking in any sense of frustration or annoyance at their human failings; - of which he was also well aware.

The provision of food, as in this reading, is but one area of need that Christ addressed on more than one occasion after his followers had been with him for an extended period. The caring sentiments in his heart however have been revealed in multiple and varied situations, not the least of which was his incarnation and birth in a stable, and his Passion and Death on Calvary; - all of which were embraced in order to reveal God’s love; - to teach; - and to redeem!

Christ’s miracles were also carried out in order to reveal, and provide evidence of, his Divinity so his followers could “believe in him”. Then there is his sermons and teachings scattered throughout the New Testament revealing a new way of life that he wants his people to adopt with his core lessons being ‘spelt out’ in his Sermon on the Mount.

This was all followed by the establishment of his Church via Peter and the twelve Apostles, providing us with the Sacraments that resulted in the Priesthood, Confession, Marriage, and the Eucharist; - together with the Scriptures, and the gift of Mary his Mother to be our Mother.

All of these gifts have a common purpose; - to reveal the Love and Compassion of God for his people, and His desire to enter into an intimate and loving relationship with each of us: If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him”!

As a result of this love, and all these gifts, there is, clearly, an obligation on us, as creatures, to make a return to God for his generosity, wisdom, love and compassion but, sadly, many of us are so focussed on our desires and attraction for “the things of the world” we have little time for “the things of Heaven”; - a situation we all need to strive to rectify in our personal lives?

Gospel Acclamation Mt4:4

Alleluia, alleluia!

No one lives on bread alone,

but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.


First reading Genesis 3:9-24 · The expulsion from the Garden of Eden

The Lord God called to the man. ‘Where are you?’ he asked.

‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’

‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’

The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’

Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’

The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’

Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this,

‘Be accursed beyond all cattle,

all wild beasts.

You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust

every day of your life.

I will make you enemies of each other:

you and the woman,

your offspring and her offspring.

It will crush your head

and you will strike its heel.’

To the woman he said:

‘I will multiply your pains in childbearing,

you shall give birth to your children in pain.

Your yearning shall be for your husband,

yet he will lord it over you.’

To the man he said, ‘Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat,

‘Accursed be the soil because of you.

With suffering shall you get your food from it

every day of your life.

It shall yield you brambles and thistles,

and you shall eat wild plants.

With sweat on your brow

shall you eat your bread,

until you return to the soil,

as you were taken from it.

For dust you are

and to dust you shall return.’

The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live. The Lord God made clothes out of skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on. Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, with his knowledge of good and evil. He must not be allowed to stretch his hand out next and pick from the tree of life also, and eat some and live for ever.’ So the Lord God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken. He banished the man, and in front of the garden of Eden he posted the cherubs, and the flame of a flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.

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