Daily Reflection
August 2nd, 2004
Ray Bucko, S.J.
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
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When I was a child, having grown up in an industrial rather than agricultural town, I always thought that yoke in the scriptures had to do with the center of the egg.  In fact some of my fondest childhood memories are of waking up in the morning and listening: was the spattering sound I heard rain outside my window or bacon and eggs cooking downstairs in the kitchen?  My mother was most skilled at breaking eggs and preserving the yoke—she even would spoon fat on the yoke so it would be nice and firm when the egg was lifted out of the pan. 

But the reading from Jeremiah speaks of a different yoke—one that is more burdensome than delicious.  Here the prophet Hananiah is punished for misleading the people of Israel for announcing that the foreign yoke would be broken when in fact the people’s chastisement had not come to an end.  Thus he raised false confidence in the people.

The gospel turns back to food—here the apostles themselves are the pessimists bemoaning the fact that there is not enough food to be had for all the crowd—prophets of doom as it were.   The Lord does NOT punish them for their false prophecy but rather exceeds their expectations in performing this miracle. 

I contend that this miracle takes three parties to happen: Jesus who blesses and distributes but also the apostles who put down their doubt and do as Jesus says and the crowd who trust and give what little they have so that it might be blessed.

So, when we wake up in the morning we need to listen and to smell and to be realistic.  If it’s raining outside or if it’s bacon and eggs cooking inside has to be with listening, and smelling, and walking to the window and down in the kitchen to be sure.  It might be one or the other or both.  Whether it be the rain of burden which Jeremiah assisted the people of Israel to endure by not raising false expectations but TRUE hope in the Lord’s mercy or the bacon and eggs of the messianic banquet where there is always more than enough, we each have to be part of those miracles—to carry the burned of life’s yoke as a community or to enjoy the yoke of abundant food and blessings in the company of  family and community. 

Today is the feast of Peter Faber, S.J. one of Ignatius’ original companions and founders of the Society of Jesus.  He carried the burden, along with others, of the Church’s important self-reformation work and shared the joy of Ignatius in beginning many vibrant apostolates such as colleges in Germany and Spain.  What a perfect day for bacon and eggs – well, maybe eggbeaters and soy!


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