Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 5th Week in Ordinary Time – Saturday – Mark 8:1-10
Earlier, Christ had traveled to the area of the Decapolis (“ten cities”) east of the Sea of Galilee and miraculously cast out many demons from a possessed man, causing much fear (Mark 5:1-20). The former-demoniac desired to come with Christ but Christ told him to tell everyone about God’s mercy; upon returning, the man’s testimony has made Christ known and a huge multitude comes to meet Him in a deserted place, far from the cities.
After three days, the crowd has been without food and are famished. Christ feels deep compassion and worries about the well-being of the crowd, perhaps recalling His own fast in the desert for 40 days. The crowd are richly rewarded for their determination to be near Christ for they are not only fed, but witness an astounding miracle. Christ’s history-changing action by Feeding of the 4000 (Men) understates the miracle; when women and children are included, the count of those fed is much higher.
While the miracle of feeding thousands of people astounds, Christ’s action is much greater than simple feeding. Revealing Himself as the Divine Priest, Christ previews the liturgy of the Eucharist in the breaking of the bread, just as He will do at the Last Supper. He draws the 12 Apostles to Himself and allows them to mediate His Grace to mankind as they distribute the bread to the multitude; as priests after Christ’s Resurrection, the Apostles and their successors will feed billions of people with the Bread of Life in the Eucharist at every Mass. Christ seers the miracle into the minds of the 12 Apostles when they collect up the remains to find there was more bread than they had at the beginning; the 7 loaves had miraculously multiplied to feed the multitude and had now grown to fill 7 baskets.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Divine King and the Greatest Leader, Christ forms His apostles through participation in the miracle. Son of Man, Christ feels emotions deeply, particularly compassion for the suffering. Divine Priest, Christ’s replays the feeding of Israel with manna, previews the Eucharist and initiates the Apostles into priesthood.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Christ’s astounding miracles sometimes lose their impact on the modern reader. Consider this: using simple math and some reasonable assumptions, Christ miraculously provided a semi-truck load full of bread in the Feeding of the 4000.
2) While Christ’s miraculous Feeding of the 4000 is astounding, His continued feeding of hundred of millions of Catholics with His Body and Blood at weekly Mass is an even greater miracle. Reflect upon the Eucharist (CCC 1322-1344) and pray for Christ to help you grow in awe of His miraculous gift of the Eucharist.
2) Unlike Christ and the multitude who persevere in the tough conditions of the wilderness for three days, many in the prosperous modern society have lost the “hunger” to endure hardship and persevere. Review the Cardinal Virtues (CCC 1803-1809) and pray for Christ to help you persevere in the face of current or future challenges.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary
Virtue of the Day – Hope
Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead