Today’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 97, 99, 94; Genesis 49:29-50:14; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; Mark 8:1-10
Today’s Writer: Hope Brashear
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus again leads his disciples in providing food for thousands of people. Surrounded by many people with such a basic need, the disciples ask ‘Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a deserted place like this?’(Mk.8:4). To their amazement, he feeds a hungry crowd in an isolated spot. We repeat this scene every day.
Surrounded by such great and basic needs, both in our own lives and in the lives of our immediate and global communities, we ask, “Where could anyone get bread to feed these people?” How can we respond? Jesus, our traveling companion, shows the way: Take what we have; offer it up to be blessed; and give it out, trusting that Jesus is responsible for the increase.
When we cannot believe this, remember that Jesus has done this before. In today’s Psalm, those who do not belong to Yahweh claim “Yahweh sees nothing” (Ps. 94:7). But he who made us knows and sees us well. “I need only say, ‘I am slipping,’ and your love, Yahweh, immediately supports me…”(Ps. 94:18). And so we follow the greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength… and we love our neighbor as we learn to love ourselves.
Walt Whitman sums it up in the original preface to Leaves of Grass:
“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, …go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, …dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”