The disciples came to Jesus and said, send this crowd away and let them buy bread for themselves, for it is quite clear we can’t feed them with what we have.
This is my own paraphrase on Mark 6:36. It is the familiar story of Jesus performing the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes to feed over 5,000 people in a desert place. The disciples have grown weary of these hangers on. The crowds increased in number and so many of them were sick, lonely, desperate of hope. They knew this would never end and they would never be able to relax and just enjoy their own personal space at this rate.
What does Jesus do? He uses a young boy’s personal lunch basket containing a few fish and bread and feeds the crowd. Everyone is amazed because not only do they have enough to satisfy the crowd, they take up leftovers. Everyone had a fish sandwich.
What is clear to me is that every day I take the position of the disciples. After all what do these people expect of me? I have my own financial future to worry about. If I don’t take care of myself, who will? I need to have money for an emergency. The poor, well yes they are having emergencies every day, but I mean my own personal emergency.
Traditionally the phrase; ‘Let them eat cake’ has been attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette of 18th century France. It has been presumed to have been uttered in response to a report she received that the poor people had no bread to eat. This quote is embedded in history and I believe serves as a reflection of our current response to the cries of the poor who hunger for bread, medical care, clothing, housing, emotional and spiritual comfort. My response is, I am investing in my 401k, wait until I get my tax return, let me pay off my house and car loan…., and I will get to you next. I do you one better than Jesus in the desert with his fish and loaves. I say, let them eat a crab cake.
Go to the food pantry, the government food aid stations, wait until the Red Cross, World Food Program, or some other caring people are around. Have a crab cake. I have my own personal agenda to work out and as soon as I am done…, well you know the rest.
Jesus is watching. He tells me, what do you have with you now? Share it.