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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for January 29, 2015

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THURSDAY, January 29

Mark 6:38 And [Jesus] said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.”

“I want to see you as soon as you arrive,” read an email from the Bishop of Rio de Janeiro. We immediately concluded this meant work that would take us away from our primary mission of establishing a Franciscan house of prayer in the city. We needn’t have worried; he only wanted to welcome us upon our return and to ask if we could help him brush up on his English for an upcoming fund-raising trip to the U.S. But we did gain an awareness of how needy the diocese was, starting with finances and staffing. It has neither.

He paused to answer the phone: it was a telemarketer. Instantly this one act symbolized how alone the bishop was. Barbara and I looked at each other and knew we wanted to help. But how? What can two people do in the midst of such need?

Jesus offers a clue in today’s gospel. People were inspired to share, and scarcity was converted to abundance. We cannot fix things directly, but we can offer companionship, out of which may come plenty.

We offered to meet with the bishop two mornings a week.

PRAY for the Diocese of Lucknow (North India)

Ps 50 * [59, 60] or 118; Isaiah 49:13-23; Galatians 3:1-14; Mark 6:30-46

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