Feeding the Multitude

Jesus has an interesting way of producing miracles. Two Mondays ago, we listened to the story of the Feeding of the 5,000 from Mark’s Gospel. We paired this with a clip from the film Millions (highly recommended) where our young protagonist has a discussion with St. Peter about the nature of miracles, in particular St. Peter’s retelling of the feeding of the multitude. The miracle for St. Peter is not that Jesus was able to produce a feast for thousands out of 5 loaves and 2 fishes, but rather through his blessing of this meager offering, in addition to the influential tenacity of a young boy having the audacity to ask for lunch, Jesus was able to inspire thousands to sit down and share their food together after initially refusing to divulge their secret stash of lamb, bread, fish, and other food. Luckily for our group, we were able to experience this miracle of kindness firsthand.

With the simple message that we were collecting non-perishable food items for Flint Hills Breadbasket, we walked just two blocks down our street knocking on the door and greeting bewildered college students.

Upon returning to the house, way more successful than we had initially imagined possible, we shared our observances of this experience. These observances in regard to the transition of reactions we experienced with our neighbors illustrates what the gathering multitude must have experienced. Here is a group of strangers knocking on my door, my personal space, and I’m apprehensive as to their intentions. But in learning the meaning of this (slight) intrusion, I understand the importance of the request and jump to help those that need it most.

When Jesus blessed the food for sharing, the people gathered realized that this moment was bigger than themselves, and upon this dawning awareness rushed to share with each other. Being made aware of the importance of the mission and recognizing the moment to help others is how the disciples were able to collect 12 baskets of extra food following the meal, and how our little group was able to collect over 50 cans from college students.

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