Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection February 10, 2024


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R/. O Lord, remember me with the favour you show to your people..

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

R/. Alleluia

In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” And he directed 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. And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

1.      In today’s word of God, we have two contrasting figures and situations. In the first reading from 1 Kings, we have Jeroboam, the king of Israel turning to evil and misleading the people also to abandon the true God and turn to idols. But in the gospel, we see Jesus turning to God and leading the people to experience the providential care of God.

2.       In the gospel, we have the miracle of the multiplication of 7 loaves and a few fish and feeding four thousand. Jesus feels compassion for the people hungry for three days; he thinks of the good and need of the people.

3.       But in contrast, Jeroboam thinks of his own throne. He fears that people would be drawn to the Jerusalem temple and thus defect from their loyalty to him. So, He erects two golden calves, many temples to any gods, and anyone a priest.

4.       The consequence of Jeroboam’s evil doing is infidelity to the true God and eventual destruction. But the consequence of Jesus’ compassionate doing is deepened fidelity to God, superabundance, and satisfaction. The hungry people were not only fully satisfied but there were also 7 baskets full of leftovers.

5.       This miracle once again confirms that God is ever compassionate to us. He is so sensitive and concerned for us. He will not leave us hungry and struggling in our desert and deprived situations. He will not allow us to faint on the way. He intervenes to feed us and strengthen us. He takes care of us and satisfies us.

6.        So, we are invited to turn to Jesus when we are hungry and in need. Confide in him. We need not be worried about the magnitude of the need like four thousand and the smallness of our resources like 7 loaves and a few fish.

7.       He would multiply them into superabundance. All that is needed is to find out and pool together our limited resources, place them in the hands of Jesus, trust his power and be satisfied.

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