Saturday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

The Eucharist, our hope

In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, he [Jesus] summoned the disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.” His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?” Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied. He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd. They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also. They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets. There were about four thousand people. He dismissed them. Mk 8,1-9

At the beginning of the time, God said to the man and the woman just created: “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land …. I give all the green plants for food” (Gn 1,29-30). It is his mandate for the use and the sharing of the goods of the nature. We open the newspaper and we read: wars, oppression, energy crisis, hunger, inflation, recession, layoffs, coups, assassinations, kidnappings, extortion, bribery, robbery, housing crisis and so on. What happened? Since Cain killed his brother, it is a succession of self-interests and corruptions. The sharing has almost disappeared from the earth. In this historical context, today we meet the second miracle of the multiplication of the loaves by which Jesus anticipates the pledge and the daily bread of the eucharist which reach us every day. To our obtuseness in understanding the mandate to share, the Lord continues to oppose an ever greater generosity: “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat”. Our hope to continue to receive the eucharistic bread and to be able to share the daily one have roots in this “compassion” of the Lord for our poverty. He does not take into account our selfishness, but he comes to us with divine love. In the end the Lord will win every human endurance, because he is never tired of loving. It is like to play tennis against the wall: the wall always wins. Today we are still far from the liberation of the daily bread, but if we continue to share the eucharistic bread,  at the end the selfishness will collapse like the Berlin wall. Every time we participate in the eucharist a future of glory shines before our eyes and the night in which we still live lights by a sudden glow: it is the hope which is reborn from the broken bread of Christ.

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