They said to
one another, “It is because we have no bread.” And becoming aware of it,
Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still
not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?
I am leading a Lenten study on Holy Saturday. Therefore, we are looking at the many faces of grief and loss encountered in the world today. I was reminded of the book, Sleeping with Bread, by the Linn family. This book is a primer to the Ignatian method of the Examen. It is a simple exercise for the Examen.
What strikes me about Sleeping with Bread is the application for people in the midst of grief. What do people in grief hold on to so tightly? Mostly it is the loved one just lost, the house just burned, the dream of holding a child lost by miscarriage, the __________(name your own).
During the bombing raids of World War II, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But, many of these children who had lost so much could not sleep at night. They feared waking up to find themselves once again homeless and without food. Nothing seemed to reassure them. Finally, someone hit upon the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace. All through the night the bread reminded them, “Today I ate and I will eat again tomorrow.”
Today I ate and I will eat again tomorrow. Later in the story we are told that many of the children had bread to eat because other prisoners gave their bread to the children. We need bread. We need bread to eat and we need bread to give away. We need bread to sleep and we need bread to carry us on the journey.
In the lectionary text from the Gospel of Mark today, Jesus scolds the disciples yet again, ““Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?” During Lent we consider how we receive our bread, our daily bread…our daily bread that comes from God. And we consider the greatest gift we could ever receive, life that conquers death.
We have bread, friends. We have bread right in front of us. Take, eat, share. Taste that the Lord is good. When you can’t find your bread, accept the bread from another. This is our calling as the people of God.