Arulvakku

06.06.10 BODY AND BLOOD

Posted under Reflections on June 5th, 2010 by

…As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, "Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here." He said to them, "Give them some food yourselves." They replied, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people." Now the men there numbered about five thousand. Then he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of (about) fifty." They did so and made them all sit down. Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets. (Lk 9:11-17)

 

Israelites know well the story of Manna in the desert. God provided the Israelites with food in the desert and this was constantly remembered. They prayed about it and they sang Psalms regarding this. Again they are in a deserted place and they are aware that Jesus is there among them, yet the disciples asked Jesus to disperse the crowd.

Jesus said to them “Give them some food yourselves”. Does Jesus ask them to play the role of God? And they could definitely not. Does Jesus want to show to them that God was among them as HE was in the desert with their forefathers? By providing food for them in the desert Jesus proved that God was among them and this God was in Jesus.  A great lesson for the disciples.


Jesus not only provided them with food in the desert but he offered his body and blood as food for them. Today’s feast is a reminder of this. Only God provides food in the desert and thus providing food for them in the desert Jesus revealed that he is the son of God. Not only that but he also becomes food for them. He is the provider and the provided. 

05.06.10 FIDELITY

Posted under Reflections on June 4th, 2010 by

 In the course of his teaching he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation." He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, "Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood."  (Mk 12:38-44)

This is an interesting episode. Jesus is seated opposite to the treasury. It is said that the money collected from this treasury was used for the maintenance and repair of the Temple. The money collected from the treasury that was within the Temple was used for the sacrifice and the services. Jesus was well aware that the money that was contributed by the widow would go for the maintenance.  

In the following verses (of Chapter 13) Jesus speaks about the destruction of the Temple saying, ‘There will not be one stone left upon another that will not be thrown down’. We wonder why Jesus did not tell the widow not to throw the money in the treasury (because the money will, only be wasted because the Temple is going to be destroyed) in stead use it for her own upkeep.

The lesson that Jesus wants to teach through this is that one should be faithful even when he/she is aware that it is going to be wasted. Fidelity is more important. It is because of this that the widow is honoured by Jesus. Fidelity in spite of knowing that the efforts made are going to be wasted is the lesson.

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