Saturday of the fourth week of Ordinary Time – Odd Year

Posté par diaconos le 6 février 2021

They were like sheep without a shepherd

 Samedi de la quatrième semaine du Temps Ordinaire — Année Impaire dans Catéchèse brebis_sans_berger

# The multiplication of the loaves is the name given to two miracles performed by Jesus of Nazareth according to the texts of the Gospels: Matthew chapter 14, verses 14-21, then again 15, 32-38; Mark 6, 34-44, then again Mark 8, 1-9; Luke 9, 12-17; John 6, 5-14. The first multiplication of the loaves took place after the death of John the Baptist on the orders of Herod Antipas to satisfy the desire of his daughter Salome, and to heal the sick. A second multiplication of the loaves took place later which involved a different number of people. Matthew and Mark were the only two evangelists to relate it.

Some exegetes thought that it was the same event told twice. However, the two miracles did not take place in the same place, in one case there were 5,000 men, in the other case there were 4,000. The number of the extra bread baskets was also different. Later, Jesus referred to the two miracles, clearly distinguishing them (Mt 16:9-11). For the church doctor John Chrysostom, Jesus in this miracle posed himself as the creator of heaven and earth. By this gesture, he encouraged people to pray before every meal and wanted to show the importance of sharing.


From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark

At that time the Apostles met with Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, « Come apart into a desert place and rest a little. « For there were many coming and many going, and there was not even time to eat. So they set out in a boat for a deserted place, away from it.
The people saw them leaving, and many understood their intention. So on foot, from all the towns, they ran there and arrived before them. When Jesus disembarked, he saw a great crowd. He was filled with compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began to teach them at length. (Mk 6:30-34)
Return from mission

The disciples, on returning from their mission, gathered together with Jesus to report to him. Jesus invited them to cross the lake to go with him to a deserted place to find some rest, for they were so pressed by the crowds that they had no time to take their meals. When the multitude saw them leave, they followed them on foot, in order to find them on the other side of the lake. Jesus, touched with compassion, gave them prolonged teachings.

As the hour was early, the disciples invited Jesus to dismiss the multitude, who had no food in this deserted place. Jesus answered them, « Give them something to eat yourselves. The disciples were astonished and told him that more than two hundred denarii of bread would be needed. Jesus told them to find out how many loaves they had. They saw that they had only five loaves and two fish.

Jesus ordered the crowd to sit down in groups on the green grass. Then he took the loaves and fishes and pronounced the blessing, and gave them to his disciples to distribute to all. And they were all filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of what was left over. And there were five thousand people there. According to Mark, Jesus’ intention for himself and his disciples was to escape for a while from the noise and weariness of the many coming and going, so that they might rest a little.

This rest in the solitude and communion of Jesus was necessary for the apostles after their first missionary journey. It was no less necessary for all the servants of God, who were so exhausted in body and soul by too much outside activity that they could not even do anything about it. Mark observed for the second time that Jesus and his disciples did not have time to eat: « Then Jesus returned home, where again the crowd gathered, so that it was not even possible to eat. « (Mk 3:20).

Many of those who surrounded Jesus and his disciples, having seen them embark and knowing that they were on their way to the other side, ran to them on foot and beat them to it. In order to achieve this, they had to go around the northern end of the lake. The curvature of the shoreline is very close to the straight line, so that they could arrive at the same time as the boat and even before it. Of all the towns that stood in their way, several accompanied them.

According to Matthew, Jesus came out of the solitude of the mountain, where he spent a few hours with his disciples, according to his intention as reported by Mark himself. The crowd that had run on foot had preceded Jesus on the other side, apparently wanting to indicate that Jesus could not find the solitude and rest he was looking for.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ African Times : click here to read the paper →  THEY WERE LIKE SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD

◊ Manila Bulletin : click here to read the paper →  Like sheep without a shepherd

Dan Millest : « Like Sheep Without a Shepherd » |

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