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There Is Always Bread

Memorial of Saints Cyril and Methodius

First Reading: Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10

When the LORD saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth,
and how no desire that his heart conceived
was ever anything but evil,
he regretted that he had made man on the earth,
and his heart was grieved.

So the LORD said:
“I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created,
and not only the men,
but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air,
for I am sorry that I made them.”
But Noah found favor with the LORD.

Then the LORD said to Noah:
“Go into the ark, you and all your household,
for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just.
Of every clean animal, take with you seven pairs,
a male and its mate;
and of the unclean animals, one pair,
a male and its mate;
likewise, of every clean bird of the air, seven pairs,
a male and a female,
and of all the unclean birds, one pair,
a male and a female.
Thus you will keep their issue alive over all the earth.
Seven days from now I will bring rain down on the earth
for forty days and forty nights,
and so I will wipe out from the surface of the earth
every moving creature that I have made.”
Noah did just as the LORD had commanded him.

As soon as the seven days were over,
the waters of the flood came upon the earth.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 29:1A AND 2, 3AC-4, 3B AND 9C-10

R. (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.

Gospel: Mark 8:14-21

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod.”
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
“Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?”
They answered him, “Twelve.”
“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?”
They answered him, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

NAB

At the end of her autobiography, The Long Loneliness, Dorothy Day writes poignantly on how lines of people began to form at the humble Catholic Worker in New York City; hungry people, people asking for bread.

“We could not say, ‘Go, be thou filled,'” she wrote. “If there were six small loaves and a few fishes, we had to divide them. There was always bread.”

There was always bread.

Isn’t that why Jesus is so flabbergasted with His disciples in today’s Gospel reading? Even after witnessing Him multiply loaves not once but twice, they still doubted that their needs would be met. He was trying to speak to them of spiritual things, yet they couldn’t see past their own perceived lack. They suffered from a scarcity mentality, or the fear that there is not enough of God’s goodness to go around.

So often, in my own life, all I can see is lack. I convince myself that there’s not enough money, not enough time, not enough energy. I see the gifts that others have been given, physically or relationally or in any other way, and I stomp my foot at the Lord because can’t He see that I need that too? 

Or possibly even worse, I believe that I am empty: I have nothing left to give, I am stretched thin and hung out to dry. I buy into the falsehood that I’m not enough and never will be. I let my mind go down that road because it feels kind of good to lick my wounds, but what does it really say about my belief in Christ and His sacrifice? It says I don’t really believe that He is enough.

Because of the Cross, we can have confidence that there is no shortage in God’s goodness towards us. We can be sure that He has not forgotten us, nor overlooked us, nor failed to equip us with everything we need to live out His will for us. We can continue to pour ourselves out to others, secure in the knowledge that He will fill us back up.

I expect that at the end of my life, just like Dorothy Day, I will look back on my years and say “there was always bread.” Jesus will always, always be enough.

Are you, too, afflicted by the belief that you’re not enough? Can you believe that your God loves you and treasures you as a beautiful woman who IS enough?

Shannon Evans is a Protestant missionary turned Catholic convert who lived to tell the tale. An adoptive and biological mom of three boys, she enjoys hosing mud off children, scrubbing sticky furniture, and rushing to the ER to have nails extracted from small intestines. You can find out more about her here.

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