Daily reading: 1 August
Generosity and sharing are contagious.
And all ate and were filled;
- Mark 6:42, from full reading Mark 6:35-44.
Was this a simple miracle of ‘multiplication’, as Jesus broke and shared the loaves and the fish?
Or was it a more complicated type of miracle, as many of the 5,000 people present spontaneously shared the food they had with them?
Christians have often discussed this and there is no ’correct’ answer – although the parallels with Elisha’s feeding of 100 men, and God’s provision of manna to the starving Israelites in the wilderness, suggest that the story is told to demonstrate Jesus’ miraculous powers.
The story also looks forward to the celebration of the Eucharist and to the messianic banquet at the end of the age. But reading the story in today’s context, it is Jesus’ command, “You give them something to eat” that is most striking.
Where there is hunger, it is Jesus’ followers who need to look around to see how they can meet the people’s need; and come up with whatever they can find. Only then can we expect God or others to supply whatever else is required.
One thing is certain: generosity and sharing are contagious, so we can hope that others will follow each example of generosity until the needs are met.
When you become aware of a need, whether near or far, ask yourself how best you might be able to meet it.
Pray about it. Discuss it with others. Make a start.
And don’t keep your efforts secret. You may be surprised at how many want to join in.
Creator God, you have given us a world that produces food in its season and given us the skills to harvest and distribute it;
make us good stewards of your creation and loving sharers of your provision,
that none may hunger in the world you have made.
Today’s contributor is Canon Ginnie Kennerley, editor of SEARCH – A Church of Ireland Journal, and former rector of Narraghmore and Castledermot in Glendalough diocese.
Published on 01 August 2020