Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.
5TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 1 / (White)
St. Scholastica, virgin
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 106: 6-7ab, 19-20, 21-22: Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
1st Reading: 1 Kings 12: 26-32; 13: 33-34
Jeroboam thought, “The kingdom could return to the house of David. Should this people go up to offer sacrifices in Yahweh’s house in Jerusalem, their heart would turn again to their master, Rehoboam king of Judah. They would kill me and go back to him.” And so the king sought advice and made two golden calves.
Then he said to the people, “You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” He put one of these in Bethel, the other in Dan. This caused Israel to sin; the people went to Bethel and Dan to worship the calves.
Jeroboam also built temples on high places, appointing priests who were not from the Levites.
Jeroboam also appointed a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in imitation of the feast in Judah, and he himself offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel; and sacrificed to the calves that he had made. There he placed priests for the high places he had made.
After this, however, Jeroboam did not abstain from doing evil. Instead he made priests for the high places from among the people. He consecrated anyone who wanted to be a priest for the high places. And this became the sin of the family of Jeroboam for which it was to be cut off and destroyed from the face of the earth.
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.
In the Gospel according to Mark, there are two stories about Jesus feeding the multitude: the feeding of the five thousand (cf. Mk. 6:34-44) and the feeding of the four thousand (cf. Mk. 8:1-10). The feeding of the multitude is a miracle narrated by the four evangelists. It is also called “the miracle of the loaves.”
Today’s Gospel narrates how Jesus fed the four thousand people out of seven loaves of bread and some small fish. What a miracle! Miracles happen when we are not bogged down by seemingly hopeless situations.
Miracles happen when we face our everyday struggles with calmness. Miracles happen when we trust God’s goodness concretized in our capacity to share. We sometimes experience God’s miraculous providence in extraordinary occasions. But often, we experience it ordinarily every day.
Miracles ordinarily happen when we become more creative, calm and self-giving rather than desperate, agitated and self-preserving in facing our daily struggles in life.
As Jesus’ disciples, we might not be able to multiply loaves the way Jesus did it but we can always emulate Jesus’ approach to life’s difficult situations.
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