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
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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