The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop
Mark 8: 1-10
In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat,
Jesus summoned the disciples and said,
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
because they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
If I send them away hungry to their homes,
they will collapse on the way,
and some of them have come a great distance.”
His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread
to satisfy them here in this deserted place?”
Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”
They replied, “Seven.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them,
and gave them to his disciples to distribute,
and they distributed them to the crowd.
They also had a few fish.
He said the blessing over them
and ordered them distributed also.
They ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets.
There were about four thousand people.
He dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples
and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
Reflection (Sem. Philip Faustino Volante):
The disciples had seven loaves of bread and a few fish to feed four thousand men, seems impossible? But not with God.
In our Filipino language, we use the term “lang” or “lamang” when referring to something that is limited. We can use our Gospel for today as an example, Jesus wants to feed four thousand men (not counting the women and children), but the disciples have seven loaves and a few fish “lamang”. We also use this term when we feel inferior of ourselves or to someone else, “Ganito lang ako” or “Ito lang ang alam ko”.
Our Gospel for today teaches us that, like the miracle of the multiplication of loaves wherein the seven loaves and a few fish “lamang” fed a multitude of people and left seven baskets behind, the “lang” and “lamang”, in life, if offered to God, can multiply into something bigger than what we can imagine. There is no “lang” with God. Everything that we offer and surrender to Him is special. That is why we are being invited to give everything to God because He will provide us with more than what we need.
Sometimes, we belittle ourselves of what we are capable of doing by saying “ito lang ang kaya ko” (this is what I can only do) or “hanggang dito lang alam ko” (this is what I only know). We become too comfortable with our limitations that we fear going beyond what we can do. The “lang” in our life should not stop us from discovering what God would want us to become and to see the bounteous blessings from Him. We should always persevere and do our best in everything that we do and direct it to God. Going beyond the “lang” in ourselves is already a sign that our skills and knowledge is multiplying which brings us into a new discovery of our self and the bountiful love of God to us.
I admit that going beyond the “lang” of my life scares me because what is beyond is very uncertain. But if it would lead me closer to getting to know myself and my God, I am very much willing to take the risk.