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Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Kings 12:26-32; 13:33-34 & Mk. 8:1-10

After the death of Solomon, the kingdom was split in two. Jeroboam, who had fled to Egypt to escape the wrath of Solomon, returned to rule the northern kingdom. In the southern kingdom Jerusalem was the place of worship. Where were the people of the northern kingdom to worship? Jeroboam decided to set up official places of worship within his own territory. But very soon the inevitable happened. Pagan beliefs and practices were introduced and the people fell away from worshipping the one true God.

What about us? We believe that there is but one God. He is the God who created us and the God who has given us a share in His own life through baptism. He is the God who provides the resources on this earth whereby we are nourished, and the God who feeds us spiritually in the Eucharist. He is the God who looks upon us with compassion in our needs.

But like the people of the northern kingdom, we are surrounded by pagan beliefs and values. I am sure that we will not fall down in worship to offer sacrifices to idols, but we may be tempted to sacrifice our Christian values for what the world has to offer.

We can be easily influenced by our environment. We need a constant antidote to the poison of materialism and to realise we are not self-sufficient, that we need God. This is why the Mass is so important to us. It is in the Mass through the scriptures that we are given the guiding principles of Christian living and a sense of true values. Here we are strengthened by the spiritual food and drink of the Eucharist to remain faithful to what we hear in the scriptures. It is here that we worship the one true God. In the Mass we have all we need to remain true to the worship of the one true God. Let us thank God our Father for giving us the Mass and may we increase our love for it.

Are we to believe that four thousand people were with Jesus for three days and in that time had eaten nothing? We just don’t know. Surely they must have had some food with them and that sustained them through those three day? What we do know is that after the three days they definitely had nothing to eat. This demonstrates that they were completely caught up in the person and the preaching of our Lord. They were being fed such a rich and abundant spiritual diet that the necessity of food was secondary. Now we are going to see Jesus taking care of their physical hunger. Jesus took care of both their spiritual and physical hunger. He always ministered to the whole person. Had they been spiritually satisfied and still remained physically hungry for food, then the total person would not have been at peace. The Lord is interested in the whole person. Having fed four thousand we are told that there were leftovers. It's a sign that God's grace is never depleted. Seven loaves in the hands of the Lord is more than enough to feed any size crowd. Jesus continues to multiply Himself at Mass and still feeds millions every day and His Food is still left over for us to adore Him in our tabernacles throughout the world.

Lord Jesus, we can never thank You enough for Your abundant care for our spiritual and physical needs. May the hunger every day for You the real food of life.

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