Giving or Grabbing?

February 12, 2022
Saturday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings stand in stark contrast to each other.

In our first reading, we meet the two adversarial kings of the now split kingdom of Israel – so cooly named King Rehoboam and King Jeroboam. They were grasping, grabbing and trying to hold on to power over each other’s terrain. Using idols, Jeroboam tried to lure the people away from their covenanted practice of going up to Jerusalem to worship.


Our Gospel demonstrates that Jesus is a very different kind of king. His concern is for the wholeness of his people, not for the increase of his own power and standing.

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.”

Matthew 8:1-4

This morning I can’t help thinking that many of us have come a long way with Jesus too. But still we find ourselves in spells of hunger — hungers of all kinds. Jesus sees our true needs, has compassion for, and presence with us in the pangs of any human experience.

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.

Matthew 8: 6

Let’s just sit down with Jesus today as we pray, laying out before him our deepest hungers, worries, regrets, doubts and hopes. Let’s wait for the gift of God’s beautiful and miraculous Bread – broken for each one of us.

Poetry: Gratitude – Henry Van Dyke

“Do you give thanks for this? — or that?”
No, God be thanked
I am not grateful
In that cold, calculating way, with blessing ranked
As one, two, three, and four, — that would be hateful.

I only know that every day brings good above”
My poor deserving;
I only feel that, in the road of Life, true Love
Is leading me along and never swerving.

Whatever gifts and mercies in my lot may fall,
I would not measure
As worth a certain price in praise, or great or small;
But take and use them all with simple pleasure.

For when we gladly eat our daily bread, we bless
The Hand that feeds us;
And when we tread the road of Life in cheerfulness,
Our very heart-beats praise the Love that leads us.

Music: Bread of Life – rory Cooney

I myself and the bread of life.
You and I are the bread life,
Taken and blessed,
Broken and shared by Christ that the world might live.

This bread is spirit, gift of the maker’s love,
And we who share it know we can be one:
A living of God in Christ.

I myself and the bread of life.
You and I are the bread life,
Taken and blessed,
Broken and shared by Christ that the world might live.

Here is God’s kingdom given to us as food.
This is our body, this is our blood:
A living sign of God in Christ.

I myself and the bread of life.
You and I are the bread life,
Taken and blessed,
Broken and shared by Christ that the world might live.

Lives broken open, stories shared aloud,
Become a banquet, a shelter for the world:
A living sign of God in Christ.

I myself am the bread of life.
I myself am the bread of life

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