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Posts Tagged ‘miracle of the loaves’

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Reflection Questions

  1. Jeremiah had witnessed over 10 years Jerusalem being captured, the Holy Temple destroyed and God’s people walked out of their land into exile. Jeremiah’s early message and warning to the King and people had been ignored. The King even burnt Jeremiah’s first manuscript of writings and warnings! Jeremiah spoke to the ‘Shepherds’ – Priests and Rulers of Israel and told them they were at fault for not helping people remain close to God. Their ‘lack of care’ caused people to be ‘scattered’. What qualities do you wish to see in your Leaders? ‘Priests’? How could you encourage them in their responsibility as shepherds? Does ‘leadership’ also require ‘followship’?
  2. St Paul is the great teacher of how Jews and Gentiles – two peoples who were very ‘distant’ and ‘dis-liking’ of each other – have become one family through Jesus. How? The laws teaching Jews to be ‘separate’ from everyone else have now been completed and ‘abolished’. The purpose of the ‘laws’ was to be close to God. The ‘blood of christ’ has now become the forgiving sacrifice given by God to show all sin and ‘distance’ has been removed. And this applies to everyone. Jews and Greeks (Gentiles). Have you had any experience that united you to many people?  Do you recognise this takes place profoundly at Mass?
  3. Can you identify any barriers of culture, language, fear, perception that has stopped you feeling and living as a ‘brother or sister’ with someone different from you? What would be required to ‘put that enmity (obstacle causing hostility) to death? Is there a ‘clean’ ‘unclean’ distinction at the root of the problem? What do you think St Paul would say?
  4. Today is the only time in the Gospel of Mark the word ‘Apostles’ is used. It means ‘ones sent’. We come ‘from’ someone and ‘report’ back to someone. Disciples are missioned by Jesus and need to return to Jesus. Jesus ‘takes them to a deserted place’. So excited, so busy ‘they had no opportunity even to eat’, Jesus guides his disciples toward rest. Do you consider you have a healthy balance of ‘work and rest’? Where is your ‘deserted place’? What is the most enjoyable way you find to ‘rest’? Jewish people connected ‘rest’ with ‘sabbath’. Are you allowing Sunday to be experience of real ‘rest’?
  5. Imagine a close family and personal friend has died. A busy atmosphere at home or work. People demanding many things. While wanting to rest, there is a vast crowd needing you. Jesus was ‘moved with pity’. The word is translated also as compassion – mercy – which has its origin in the Jewish word for ‘womb’. What does this teach about Jesus? Can you relate to this experience? When have you ‘fed’ people with your life, words, presence? What happened?
  6. This passage of Jesus teaching a large crowd will lead to his feeding the Jewish crowds (Mark 6) and the Gentile crowds (Mark 8). To teach us more about this the next 5 Sundays will jump into the Gospel of John chapter 6. Jesus, the Righteous Shepherd and True King of Israel will feed all people with the Eucharist. The Bread from Heaven. Consider a personal decision how you could learn more about the Eucharist over the next 5 weeks. Prayerfully reflect on John 6.
  7. What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?