Saturday 11 February 2017

Sat 11th. Our Lady of Lourdes, Genesis 3:9-24. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge—Ps 89(90):2-6, 12-13. Mark 8:1-10.


‘He fills the hungry with good things.’

Whether it is at Cana or, as here, in ‘a deserted place’, Jesus provides sustenance for the hungry or the thirsty in abundance. Today’s account of the feeding of the 4,000, coming as it does immediately after Jesus’ ministry in the Decapolis, likely included more than a few Gentiles among the crowd. In this it differs from the gospel accounts of the feeding of the 5,000. However, as in those narratives, Jesus’ words and actions have a liturgical flavour.

In the words of the psalmist, ‘He satisfies the thirsty, and fills the hungry with good things’ (Ps 107:9). Providing food and drink for those in need constitutes the first of the seven corporal works of mercy and are among the criteria invoked in Matthew’s account of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:35,42). As such, they are a defining characteristic of our Christian vocation.

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