from St Anselms Chapel Center @ USF
I used to live in southern Kentucky before we moved back to Florida. In Bowling Green, we definitely had four seasons and we usually had a cold winter; however, we didn’t typically get snow all through winter. Sometimes we would get a light “dusting” and sometimes we might get a few inches. Sometimes the weatherman predicted snow and school would be cancelled but no snow appeared. Even when we did get what we would consider to be a “big” snow, it only lasted a few days and then melted away.
However, whenever there was any mention of snow in the forecast, people just went crazy about stopping by the grocery and getting bread and milk! Everyone did it! If you didn’t get to Kroger quickly the shelves would just be bare. We even joked that the weatherman was working with the grocery stores to drive up their sales. But we all still worried. What will we do? We might run out of bread!
The disciples in today’s story do the same thing. They are in the boat with Jesus and they realize that they only brought one loaf of bread with them! What will they do? They might run out of bread!
Now, keep in mind that they had just seen Jesus feed five thousand people and then four thousand more with just a few loaves bread and a few small fish. Even having witnessed these miracles, they are still worried about where their next meal.
Jesus tells them to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. For us today yeast usually comes in little packets in the grocery store but yeast is very important because yeast is what makes bread rise and become loaves. The yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod, on the other hand, is not a good thing. It is those little doubts and worries that make us grow more and more worried and afraid instead of increasingly trusting and faithful.
In today’s reading, Jesus is reminding his disciples that God knows what they need and will provide for them every day. We too can remember that Jesus is our good shepherd. When we start wondering if our basic needs might not be met, we need to remember to allow God to supply real food and what is truly essential.
And there will always be, not just enough, but WAY more than we can begin to hope for or imagine!