Daily Reflection
February 14th, 2004
Don Driscoll, S.J.
Theology Department
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Memorial of Saint Cyril, monk, and Saint Methodius, Bishop
1 Kings 12:26-32; 13:33-34

Psalm 106:6-7ab, 19-20, 21-22
Mark 8:1-10

Two thoughts move me whenever I pray this passage from Mark.  The first is of the incredible compassion of Jesus when he says:  "My heart is moved with Pity."  I take great comfort that he has the same concern and care for us to this day.

The second thought that touches me occurs when Jesus expresses concern for the people who are tired, weak, and hungry - as we often are.  His first instinct is to help. "Feed them," he tells his disciples.  They then ask a very honest question:  "How can we provide food for the thousands gathered here?"  But Jesus gave a command and they trusted their friend and began to distribute the few loaves and fish.

It's here that I pause and try to feel what went through the disciples' hearts and minds at this moment.  Imagine their wonder and awe as the food kept multiplying from their hands.  Because they trusted Jesus they were able to nourish the multitude.

In identifying with the disciples I have so often asked:  "How can I nourish my companions on this journey called life, since I have so little to offer?"  Then I discovered a marvelous prayer exercise which has helped me.  I open my hands and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to me how God has blessed and nourished so many because I trusted God, risked, and reached out with Jesus in offering my 'little gift.'  Realizing how God has multiplied the gift is an exercise in humility, joy, and great gratitude.

Let me share a story with you.  It's one I heard on the first retreat I ever made when I was a freshman in high school.  In 1945 our American G.I.'s were helping the Germans rebuild a small town outside of Munich.  The Catholics there had built a beautiful church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  In the rear of the church, there had been a hand carved statue of Jesus.  When the soldiers pieced the statue back together, they discovered that the only parts missing were the hands.  So they fashioned a sign which they placed around the neck of the statue.  It read - "He has no hands but yours."

Jesus reaches out to us today, asking us to reach out with him to each other.

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