Answering Prayer (22-02-21)
Bible Reading: Mark 6:32-37
They went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. "This is a remote place," they said, "and it's already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." But he answered, "You give them something to eat."
I remember when mobile phones first came out. I was working for a company as an agricultural adviser and had a car phone. It was great for keeping in touch when I was out on the road, but it was the beginning of the end of freedom; being always contactable is a mixed blessing. I remember the joy of a caravan holiday in France and realising that the car phone no longer worked! Not so today.
Can you imagine yourself as one of the disciples in today’s reading? You have had a busy few days out on a demanding mission, and now Jesus is offering you some rest and recuperation. You set off together to a quiet place across the lake, only to discover that the crowds are following you, and have got there ahead of you. How do you feel?
Notice Jesus’ response. He saw the large crowd, had compassion on them, and began teaching them. For the rest of the day and into the evening. How are you feeling now?
It is late. The crowd are hungry and far from home. You see the need and suggest Jesus sends the crowd away to buy food in the nearby villages. A good idea, but what is your motivation? Is it to feed the people or to get Jesus to yourself again?
And then Jesus says, “You give them something to eat”.
There are some prayers we pray where Jesus might effectively say to us, ‘’You give them something to eat’’. Are there situations today where you could be the answer to your own prayers?
There are many needs around us today. How do you think Jesus would respond to them? How might you respond, like Jesus, with a heart of compassion?
Lord Jesus, give me the grace to respond to those I meet today, not out of frustration, but with your heart of compassion.
With a prayer you fed the hungry