“My heart is moved at the sight of all these people, for they have already been with me three days and they have nothing to eat;
I am penitent
I hunger for partnership
crowd and creation
these hunger with me
partners and not yet partners
we are all
three days dead
hunger pains nearly gone
there has been enough
for this emptying
we are real
journeys need provisions
By many measures, including self-deluded ones, America is the richest nation and yet at least half of its households are one paycheck away from bankruptcy. One emergency room visit, one extra expense, one cut in pay will show the fragility of its economy. Additionally there is credit card debt that can’t be met if ever called due.
This is a modern equivalent to having spent 3 days away from one’s usual supply lines—increasing hunger and agitation.
In such cases we’ll even hook up with a false messiah promising to always take care of us and make us great again. The cost? The Romans, the Mexicans, the Muslims, and the LGBTQ community will be done away with; Women and Blacks will be put in their place. Enlargement by exclusion has forever failed and will again, but it has a special place in an Apple Picker’s heart that will find knowledge through gluttony or any other entitlement.
Every one, including one claimed by many thousands of years later to be a True Messiah, can recognize a growing tension among those whose survival is growing more tenuous, day by day and year by year. Compassion and mercy are the only long-term tools available to move us toward a continuous Jubilee restoration.
Mark does not have a scene where Jesus gives a model prayer, but Wright101 notes that these feeding episodes are that prayer embodied. Matthew and Luke pray a day of “presence”, of daily bread, will come. Mark demonstrates that it is here.
The suffering of the crowd will find themselves supported, understood in the midst of their hunger. This is prelude to another irony when the feeder will be denied pardon from suffering and the same or another crowd will crowd around to watch the spectacle of suffering unto death. They will go from hands out for more to thumbs down.