“FED THE WORD”
Saint Mark 8. 1-9
7th Sunday after Trinity: 14 July Anno Domini 2013
Fr Jay Watson SSP
In The Name + of Jesus
In the beginning there was nothing to eat. But even before the beginning the Lord loved His own; He loved Adam and Eve before He breathed His Son, Spirit and Self into them. “In the beginning was The Word…all things were made by Him…in Him was life.” [Jn. 1.1, 3a, 4a] “In the beginning God created…let the earth bring forth…the herb yielding seed…and the tree yielding fruit…and fowl that may fly above the earth…cattle…to you it shall be for meat.” [Gen. 1] “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat’” [Gen. 2. 16]
The Word feeds. The Word is food that saves!
The Lord Jesus creates and feeds. Jesus makes life, restores life, and maintains life. Jesus doesn’t just feed He nourishes, delights, and lavishes good food—the finest of fat meats and wines on the lees; the freshest and most delightful bread and refreshing pure water.
“This day at Thy creating Word” we sing in TLH # 12 “first o’er the earth the light was poured; “O Lord this day upon us shine.”
He is the Good Shepherd who pastures His multitude, His flock, upon His own green pastures which are in His own Flesh and His own Blood. His multitudes need to eat not just to stay alive but to BE ALIVE in Him—vibrant, healthy, and growing green in life—branches to the vine…not phloem and xylem from a cellulose center but living stones from the Rock of Ages, the wounds, pierced side, mouth, and heart of the God/Man.
Sin and rebellion, deicide—trying to kill God and be “like gods,”—drove Man from paradise and the feasting banquet. Sin produces hunger, famine, malnutrition, wasting and death. Your sin produces gnawing emptiness, fainting on the way, and death—both spiritual hunger as well as physical wants, an empty gut.
Jesus doesn’t just want to give you a minimum, a survival ration; He desires to “satisfy.”
“From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?” Nowhere, and No one: “I believe that I cannot by own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him…” writes the Reformer in the 3rd Article’s explanation. What man can’t do the God/Man can and does! The Word feeds. The Word is food that saves.
Only Jesus satisfies and feeds in the 40-year desert of Exodus sin. Seven loaves of bread point to Creation’s perfection which man destroyed in piggish gluttony and prideful spite. When the Lord also fed the 5,000 in John 6 He spoke the truth about real food and real feasting: “I Am the bread of life, he that cometh to Me shall never hunger,” and “and the bread that I will give is My Flesh.” Note well that these words came after that miracle of multiplying fish and bread. He is talking there about Calvary; about the paschal mystery of the vicarious satisfaction of the Lamb of God slain and cooked on the crucifix in the fire of God’s wrath against your trespasses. For God so loved the world…in this precise way, that the Crucifixion of the Only Begotten full of Grace and Truth was necessary to fill your lifeless corpses not just with re-birth, but with a Eucharist Wedding Gourmet-Graced “three-course” + extravaganza!
The language that Saint Mark uses in his Evangel typifies what Jesus will do on Maundy Thursday, and on Sunday 14 July: “gave thanks, and brake, and gave to His disciples to set before them.”
Miraculously multiplying a few fish and loaves of bread does indeed show Divinity and Omnipotence…the mastery over matter and supernatural control. That’s nice…especially for the four-thousand that were strengthened for the journey back to their homes. But this “sign” isn’t about temporary satiation or even daily bread—daily. The feeding is the Word. The Word is the Word made flesh: Christ Jesus. The Word made flesh is His Scripture whetting your appetite and giving you forgiveness and peace and salvation. The Word made flesh is His very true and real and actual Body and Blood in His feeding in The Sacrament. The Word feeds. The Word is food that saves. Sacramental, that is, “mysterious” what happened that day? Sure. But for He to Whom all things are possible, this character of His giving, satisfying, doing, and merciful nourishing is present every Mass!
The Cross of Christ, even before Golgotha, was planted firmly into the ground that day in the midst of all those people. Jesus’ Body, obeying the Law, and loving God and His neighbor (the multitude) fed them. The Cross of Christ, at Golgotha, planted firmly into the pierced Body of Jesus produced Blood, Water, and Flesh. But that was then and now is now. NOW…right now…that which was prepared for distribution by His disciples…is given to you that you might be satisfied. Perfection is restored; the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church—the reconstituted paradise of seven baskets filled—is here in this Nave. Eat, drink, the Body and Blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins!
In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost