Tuesday 4th January : An American Saint and Feeding The Five Thousand

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This link takes you to the story of the life of the first canonised American born Saint : Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton whose memorial is celebrated on Tuesday 4th January.

Mass readings for today are here 

Gospel Mk6 :34-44

When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things. 

By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already very late.
Dismiss them so that they can go
to the surrounding farms and villages
and buy themselves something to eat.” 

He said to them in reply,
“Give them some food yourselves.” 

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But they said to him,
“Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food
and give it to them to eat?”
He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
And when they had found out they said,
“Five loaves and two fish.” 

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So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass.
The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties. 

Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciple to set before the people;he also divided the two fish among them all. 

They all ate and were satisfied. 


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And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments
and what was left of the fish.
Those who ate of the loaves were five thousand men.


The gospel story of the loaves and fishes is a paradigm of God's abundance, of hospitality and a saving antidote to hunger, and an indictment of our trustless and seemingly endless anxiety of scarcity. We Westerners always seem to worry about not having enough.
We have Jesus, in the Eucharist  and we have each other in community.
In a society that promises everything but fails dismally to deliver, nothing else will satisfy but the bread of life .
We must learn to appreciate and not waste the gifts and miracles we are given. Sometimes all we can do is gather in the fragments left over from someone elses banquet, but there is probably still more than enough.

I don't hold with the theory that it was just about sharing sandwiches . 

 Miracles are miracles - after all Jesus was the Son of God- He wanted each of us to have a part of Him and we can always recognise his presence in the breaking of bread.

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