Thursday, March 24, 2022 | Mark 6:30-46
The Rev. Bonnie-Marie Yager-Wiggan
“Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people…And all ate and were filled.”
Alemayehu Bizuneh, Scene X of the Misereor “Hunger Cloth” from Ethiopia (1978)
A ‘hunger cloth’ is an altar linen used during the season of Lent. It depicted images of Christ’s suffering to a largely illiterate population in the Middle Ages. It was later used by missionaries and artists were commissioned to depict biblical scenes in their own cultural context.
The miracle of our gospel reading hovers in our midst every time we gather at the Lord’s table and we see more clearly that the miracle was not the multiplication of loaves and fishes but multiplication (again and again) of God’s grace and generosity to us. It is this miracle we witness every time we gather and give thanks — “euchristicia.”
Jesus distributed bread long ago on that grassy hillside, and now it is he himself that is distributed, given for and to us: ”the Body of Christ, the bread of heaven, the Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.” The invitation is always for everyone to come and keep the feast. To eat until we are full and satisfied.
The season of Lent particularly calls us to remember the table and the feast are not for us alone, as individuals with our private concerns. The table is set for all to come and receive the grace and generosity of the Lord. We are also called to remember the very real practical needs of hunger and scarcity in our community. Jesus saw the people needed to eat dinner and he fed them.
It is at this table that we are transformed into those who give welcome, who believe in the abundance of God even in the face of scarcity. We depart the table with the commission to “go in peace to love and serve the Lord,” to reveal the kingdom of God here and now, for all of creation. Let not our souls draw back.
Mo.Bonnie-Marie Yager-Wiggan is one of the Assisting Priests at Trinity Cathedral. Mo. Bonnie-Marie is originally from East Tennessee and is a devoted fan of the Tennessee Volunteers. She is counting down the days till the start of college football season (185 days at time of writing).