A Holy Banquet

Miracle of the Loaves and Fish. James Tissot

God loves his people and calls them to a banquet. On Wednesday of the 1st week of Advent the Prophet Isaiah spoke of God’s promise to his people Israel. “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples. A feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.” (Isaiah 25,6-10)

Today, the Tuesday after the Epiphany, Mark describes a holy banquet in Galilee. Jesus, whose heart is moved with pity for those who follow him, feeds a vast crowd bread and fish:

So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass. 
The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties. 
Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, 
he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples
to set before the people; he also divided the two fish among them all. 
They all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments and what was left of the fish.  Those who ate of the loaves were five thousand men. “And they all ate and were satisfied.” (Mark 6, 34-44)

The miracle will be performed again across the Sea of Galilee in the area predominantly pagan, “the Galilee of the Gentiles”. “All” people will eat and be satisfied. 

The love of God should fill us with wonder and praise. Yet Mark’s gospel goes on to say that those who ate the loaves “did not understand” the mystery they had experienced.(Wednesday) 

Still true? Do we understand the mystery of God’s love and the signs we experience here and now? One of these signs is the Holy Eucharist, the promise of a banquet for all people.

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