Today’s Scriptures continues this week’s readings from the First Letter of John and Mark’s Gospel.
John’s Letter speaks again of the love of God. He reminds us that…
… In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he has loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
In today’s Gospel Mark describes for us the beginning of the beautiful ministry of Jesus… God’s love incarnated… showing us God’s love lived out in the life of Jesus. Jesus proclaims the coming of God’s Kingdom thru his ministry of preaching, teaching and healing. In today’s Gospel Jesus shows us God’s love as he recognizes that the people listening to him are getting hungry… and Jesus compassionately feeds them miraculously.
What do we learn from this?
Ronald Rohleiser in his wonderful book Sacred Fire, says this:.
… All of us have been wounded. No one comes to adulthood with his or her heart fully intact. In small ways or traumatic, we have all been treated unjustly, violated, hurt, ignored, not properly honored, and unfairly cast aside. We all carry wounds, and, with those wounds, we all carry anger, bitterness and some nonforgiveness. (P 257)
These wounds can easily embitter and harden our soul.
Jesus shows us another way to live… another focus for our lives… Kingdom-living.
Imagine a group of people sitting shoulder to shoulder around a cooking pot of delicious smelling stew. They look beaten and haggard, and are hungrily trying to get at the stew to eat it. To each of their right forearms is attached the long handle of a large spoon for dipping into the stew and feeding themselves. However, because they are shoulder to shoulder they don’t have enough room to swing the long handled spoon from the pot to their mouth. They are getting in each other’s way. They are angry at each other, they’re cursing and swearing at each other since no one can get the delicious smelling, appetizing stew to his or her mouth. As a result they are angrily starving
Imagine another group of people is sitting around a cooking pot of delicious, aromatic, appetizing stew. They are sitting shoulder to shoulder, and each of them has the long handle of a large spoon attached to their forearm for feeding. They look well nourished, happy, enjoying each other while they eat. As you watch their conviviality you notice one difference between this group and the first group, one detail which makes all the difference in the world… This group is using their large spoon to feed each other, rather than struggling to feed themselves… there is plenty to go around, and they are enjoying each other while they feast.
This is Kingdom-living. This is Jesus’ challenge to us. This is Jesus’ promise to us. ‘Help us Lord Jesus’ we pray… to follow in your footsteps. Amen.