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Posts Tagged ‘Miracles’

Download Reflection – 17th Sunday Yr B

Reflection Questions

  1. Over the next 5 weeks, our scripture readings focus upon the events of God feeding his people. We depart from the normal Gospel of Mark readings from Mark chapter 6 and are placed into the Gospel of John chapter 6. The next five weeks provide an opportunity for prayer and deeper reflection upon the Eucharist and its meaning for our lives.
  2. Jewish people recognised miraculous events of Prophets feeding God’s people with bread symbolised God feeding his family and satisfying their hunger. It was normal to bring Barley – which was harvested around the time of the Jewish passover – to the temple as an offering. Significantly, because the temple in the North (Gilgal) was following false Baal worship the bread / barley offering is presented to a holy man (Elisha) who distributed it to the poor.  Do you experience the prophetic connection between worship and being fed and ‘morality’ – now feeding the poor of the world on behalf of God?
  3. Last week we heard Jesus has united us all together – Jews and Gentiles. Paul encourages us ‘to live in a manner worthy….’ showing this unity. How do you experience disunity?
  4. Imagine your life, relationships, work-place. How could you practice unity-creating virtues: humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with, striving to preserve unity, maintaining a ‘bond of peace’? What is your biggest challenge?
  5. Because the Gospel of Mark (Yr B) has only 16 chapters, we jump into John chapter 6 for 5 weeks to explore Jesus’ feeing the 5,000. The story of Jesus feeding with ‘bread’ is told 6 times in the Gospels. John is the most theologically full with special words and meaning. It is around the Jewish Feast of the Passover. At passover Jewish people remembered Moses the great prophet feeding them with ‘manna in the desert’. The promised Messiah (King) would also do a miraculous feeding. We notice in each of the three Passovers of Jesus’ public ministry (Jn 2, 6, 19) the passover is fulfilled and replaced ‘with his body’. 5 loaves and 2 fish = 7 the perfect Jewish number indicating a perfect feeding. Taking the loaves, gave thanks, gave it to distribute, gather (synagein), fragments (klasma) are all special words used by the early church for the celebration of the Eucharist. Twelve indicates ‘all Jewish tribes / people’. What do you make of all these ‘clues’ in the reading today? What does this story now mean for you?
  6. In the midst of large crowds who are hungry, Philip offers no solution. Instead he remarks it will cost so much to fix this problem, 2/3rds of a years wage! What thought or feeling decides your (in)actions: cost or compassion? Do you offer your small contribution of money or compassion, or give up in the sight of large injustice / poverty / hunger?
  7. The crowds ‘see’ the sign Jesus has worked, think of him as ‘truly the prophet’ they have been waiting for – the Messiah. The one promised. They wish to make him King. A Political Ruler. Why do you think Jesus ‘withdraws’? Why is the ‘lifting up of Jesus’ on the cross the enthronement moment in the gospel of John?
  8. What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?