February 11, 2017 – Saturday in the 5th Week of the Church Year

Today’s Feast: Our Lady of Lourdes

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Genesis 3:9-24    –    Psalm 90    –    Mark 8:1-10

“Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among woman and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.”

 As so often happens in our liturgies, today, we are given more than enough to contemplate. Even if we skip our journey through Genesis, we still have the wonder of Lourdes up against the continuing saga of the Israelites struggle to be the “ chosen people of God” and this second telling of the “Miracle of the Loves and Fishes.”

In the first place we have to understand that in order for God to break into our world He is bound to do that where we’re at. So, as in these OT accounts, God has to come to us – even if it’s in some desert place where we might have gotten caught up in local, pagan practices. Isn’t it encouraging, though, that He doesn’t just throw up His hands and say, “To Hell with you!”

Today’s Gospel of the “Miracle of the Loves” has garnered many interpretations down through the ages. Some would even go so far as to say the “miracle” was simply that Jesus was able to convenience the crowd, who actually had sufficient food hidden away, to share it with the others. I don’t like to take this stance and prefer to see this as a real miracle similar to God providing Manna for the Israelites as they wandered in the desert wasteland.

Miracles happen! Look at all the miracles that have happened at Lourdes. Sure, there are some who would say, “that wasn’t really a miracle the person just changed their inner attitude which brought about a physical healing.” To that I say, “Hey! A healings a healing.

So, when we look at this miracle of the loves and fishes the “miracle” is that the people were fed. How did God do that? I haven’t the slightest idea. But then, I don’t always understand all the ways in which God “acts” (or “miracles”) in my own life. The beauty of “miracles” is in the fact that they can’t always be taken apart.

Thomas, meeting the Risen Jesus, pokes his finger into the wounds of Jesus and simply says, “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief.” Let us not get caught in the endless circle of trying to “figure out” how God touches our lives bur, rather, rejoice that He does! Amen!

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