Mark 8:14

Now the disciples had forgotten to take any bread with them, one loaf being all that they had in the boat.

carry provisions at your own risk
even the little you have
will be asked of you
therefore feign forgetfulness
avoid sharing

here is an amazing gap
that taught can be mislearned
so who gets the blame
teacher or student
or is judgment counter-productive

in a day of hyper-individualism
we blame teachers
and remove their resources
as an incentive to do better
there is not much that is crazier

apparently the real problem
is with mother-packed lunches
no bread is Mom’s fault
if that doesn’t hold there is always
a bad field-trip list of items to bring

students and later followers
look to a wonder-worker
to come through for all
when push comes to pull
and stomachs are growling

Having forgotten to bring any bread there is the abundance of grace that still, forgotten from a previous time, has bread available. In comparison to 5 loaves for 5,000 or 7 loaves for 4,000, one loaf for 13 is a pretty-good ratio.

Bratcher252 translates this literally as “and except for one loaf they didn’t have (anything) with them in the boat.”

In The Christian Century (October 13, 2017 issue on “Fall Books”) Heather King reported on a formative book for her—He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter Ciszek, SJ. King appreciates the following sentence describing secretly celebrating the Eucharist with fellow prisoner during his 15-year Siberian captivity: “These men would actually fast all day long and do exhausting physical labor without a bite to eat since dinner the evening before, just to be able to receive the Holy Eucharist—that was how much the Sacrament meant to them in this otherwise God-forsaken place.”

This loaf is for the Twelve what the multiple loaves were to the gathered crowds this side and the other side of then current, and still applicable, boundaries separating one from another over various forms of power—religious, military, social, etc. To have a forgotten “loaf” return to memory is to never be without anything. It is helpful to remember collectively as well as individually.