Posted under Reflections on November 30th, 2010 by

 Moving on from there Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel. Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way." The disciples said to him, "Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?" Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" "Seven," they replied, "and a few fish."  He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over– seven baskets full. (Mt 15:29-37)



The feeding of the four thousand is a miracle story that we find in Matthew’s gospel besides the feeding of the five thousand. Looking at the context (Jesus had just been in the region of Tyre and Sidon and healed the daughter of the Canaanite woman) some say that this miracle took place in a gentile territory. Or at least there were many gentiles present there. (Feeding of the five thousand was for the Jews and feeding of the four thousand for the gentiles). Also it is said that they glorified the God of Israel (meaning not their own gods). Gentiles also receive the benefits of the kingdom (healings and the feeding miracle)


Jesus takes the initiative here to care for the people. The disciples are just witnesses. Jesus has compassion on these people as he had when he fed the five thousand. The miracle story runs very similar to the feeding of the five thousand. The author Matthew has in mind that Jesus ministry does not totally limits itself to the Jews but also includes the gentiles. This is a lesson for the disciples: inclusive ministry. 

30.11.10 FOLLOWING

Posted under Reflections on November 29th, 2010 by

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.  He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. (Mt 4: 18-22)



In the present story Peter, Andrew, James, and John leave behind the nets and their father. Peter and Andrew were casting their nets in the sea for a catch. While they were in their job – as they were doing their job they leave and follow. (Not after much reflection and prayer and consultation and discernment.) They hear the call and they go at once. So also James and John; they were mending their nets (may be after a catch or getting ready for a catch) and when they were called they leave behind and follow.


In as much as following is important  so also leaving something behind is important Many a times we like to keep something with us ( for security) and try to follow also the invitation. Following demands ( it seems so) a total leaving behind of  things and persons. It is also following a person (JESUS) not an ideology or a principle or a dogma. Following a person seems to be easy. But leaving behind is not so. We like to walk forward (follow), but looking behind and not leaving behind.




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