UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
"The Miraculous Multiplication Of Loaves"
- February 12, 2011
Mark records the story of the multiplication twice, and there are minor differences in each narration. Jesus is portrayed as the âshepherdâ who feeds his flock, which is hungry, scattered and in need of his attention. His heart is filled with pity for them.
The overriding symbol used by Mark is that of the âmessianic banquetâ, where God feeds all those who come to him, no matter how diverse the background.
Markâs picture of Jesus is one who is in command: he knows what he will do with the crowds, despite the suggestions of the disciples to send them away. He commands that the loaves and fishes be brought to him. And as the host at a meal, he blesses the bread, looking up to heaven, and gives it to his disciples to distribute. This account is also reminiscent of the Last Supper, where he will âtake bread, bless, break and give.â
Though the fish do not figure any further in the narrative, the very first Christian symbol from the Roman catacombs is the âsign of the fishâ ichthys, the Greek acronym for âJesus Christ, Son of God, Saviourâ.
Mark highlights the person of Jesus as the Messiah in the midst of the messianic people. The twelve baskets symbolise the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus is full of compassion for his people who assemble around him expectantly.
In this incident, Jesus continues to say to the Church, her ministers and the people, âthey need not go away, you give them something to eat.â The ministers of Christ, conscious of their own weakness, turn to Christ as the source of nourishment. But they must first know him as âthe compassionate oneâ, and experience the power of his word, before they give him to his people in the celebration of the Eucharist.