Mumbai Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) | Daily scripture reflection 13th February 2021

Daily scripture reflection 13th February 2021

13th February, 2021
Initiative of the Ministry of the Word group Gen 3:9-24; Ps 90; Mk 8:1-10
13th Feb. 2021, Saturday
5th Week in Ordinary time
Gen 3:9-24; Ps 90; Mk 8:1-10

The First Reading continues with the effects of the first sin.  Man and woman now experience the results of their disobedience to God.  It is indeed a sad dialogue between God and man and the woman.  

God comes looking for man who is hiding from God.  Man now knows the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, and hence he knows that his act of disobedience has resulted in a fall from grace.  

“Where are you?” calls God, hoping to elicit some confession from man - the first step towards repentance & restoration.  Instead, naked, ashamed & very afraid, man turns defensive, and so begins the blame game – “the woman who you put here with me, she gave me the fruit and I ate it”; the woman in turn blames the serpent. 

What follows is the list of consequences – the serpent is cursed “on your belly you shall crawl”; the woman will bear children in pain, yet still desiring her husband who will rule over her; he in turn will be forced to hard labour on an unyielding ground which is cursed.  And of course the wages of sin is ultimate death “for you are dust and to dust you shall return”.

It is a complete breakdown of the “goodness” that God had intended for man. God’s plan for man was goodness achieved through a righteous relationship – with self (man), with other (the woman), with creation (the ground & serpent) and ultimately with God.  Everything has been sullied by sin; man, in his sinful, unholy state, is unable to live in the presence of God.  And so man & woman are expelled from Eden, with a cherubim stationed to guard the Tree of Life from them.

However, all is not lost; in the curse of enmity between the offspring of the woman and the serpent is a ray of hope.   It has been understood as the first promise of a redeemer for fallen humankind – the protoevangelium (meaning first good news). This offspring (Christ) of the woman (Mary, the new Eve) will crush the head of the serpent (Satan/sin) and will restore lost Grace.  He will restore the Tree of Life to humankind.

In the Gospel we have the second narrative of the two multiplication of loaves stories found in Mark.  While the first, with 5,000 people, is in a predominantly Jewish area/community; the second one, with 4,000 people, is set in Gentile territory.  Thus we see Jesus replicate the miracle with the Gentile community, indicating that grace & mercy is now available to all who seek.

As in the earlier miracle, the people have been flocking around Jesus – here for 3 days, indicative of the desperate spiritual need of the Gentiles - and have nothing to eat.  Mark reveals a rather emotional response from Jesus “I feel compassion for all these people… they will collapse on the way… they have come from a great distance”.  Jesus has already addressed their spiritual need, now he turns his attention to the physical need.

The disciples, all they can gather is seven loaves and a few fish; and this Jesus multiplies to feed them all – “they ate and were satisfied”, with leftovers of 7 baskets (a perfect number).  Again there is a strong Eucharistic element in this – Jesus takes, gives thanks, breaks and hands it over to his disciples for distribution.  It is a sign of God’s grace & abundance now available to all who seek it.

The readings today focus on restoration – the first reading has the promise of restoration, while the Gospel reveals the fulfillment of this promise.  In & through Jesus, Grace is freely available to all of humankind.