Today's Mass readings are here
Gospel Mark 8:14
The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod.”
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
“Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?”
They answered him, “Twelve.”
“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?”
They answered him, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
No wonder the disciples get a telling off. It is at times like this that the disciples take on a likeness in my imagination to early versions of Robin Hood's hapless Merry Men although clearly this is a sentimentalised view.
Jesus fed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread – with 12 baskets left over. That’s at least 1 loaf per 1000 people.
Jesus fed 4000 people with 7 loaves of bread – with 7 baskets left over. That’s at least 1 loaf per 571.428571 people.
There are 12 people on the boat. They have 1 loaf of bread…. Do you think Jesus can manage it?
We must have faith to believe what we cannot see.
The Pharisees lacked faith altogether.
The twelve disciples, like most of us, struggled to live by faith.
Even after Jesus had just fed the 5000, and had just fed the 4000, the disciples sat in their boat grumbling amongst themselves about where their next meal was coming from as they prepared for a hard sail across the sea of Galilee.
The Twelve didn’t realize that right there, sitting in their midst, was the bread of life!
If they did they would have seen that there was enough, more than enough, of what they needed but it wasn't physical bread that would fill them it was spiritual bread.