Trusting in God's Power
February 11th Readings Reflection: Saturday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time (Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes)
Today’s Gospel is the feeding of the four thousand. Just two chapters earlier in St. Mark’s Gospel, Jesus had fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, with twelve baskets of fragments left over. One would think, then, that the Apostles know by now that Christ has the power to feed a crowd with almost nothing.
On the contrary, their faith appears no different than before the first time Our Lord miraculously fed a crowd. This time, when He tells them that the people are hungry and will collapse on their way back home, the Apostles reply, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?” Our Lord must have been so disappointed in their lack of faith! Yet instead of rebuking them, He simply asks how many loaves they have and proceeds to feed the four thousand with just seven loaves and a few fish. This time, the fragments fill seven baskets.
Today, the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. While this is not the Gospel reading for the observance of the feast (which is an optional memorial in the new liturgical calendar), I think this passage is fitting for the feast nonetheless. Fourteen year old Bernadette Soubirous showed a remarkable childlike faith, unlike the Apostles who doubted Jesus’ ability to feed the crowd. When faced with opposition and threats of imprisonment and torture, young Bernadette remained firm in her faith, dutifully conveying Our Lady’s message and persisting in her request that a chapel be built in Mary’s honour.
Thousands of miracles have been reported since the 1858 Lourdes apparitions, and hundreds of people continue to receive miracles each year in the waters at the grotto. Countless people have also experienced conversions and strengthening of their faith at Lourdes. There is a saying that “Rome is the head of the Church, but Lourdes is the heart.” Perhaps this is because Our Lady never ceases to intercede for her children and draw them closer to her Son, and Lourdes is a visible sign of her great love for us.
On this beautiful feast, may we ask Our Lady of Lourdes to strengthen our own faith, laying at her feet all our intentions and trusting that she will bring them to her Son, Whose power knows no limits. Our Lady of Lourdes, ora pro nobis!
Amem! Thank you Chantel🕊