In St Mark’s gospel (8:1-9) Jesus feels sorry for the people who have been following him, and he feeds them. But he feeds 4000 with only 7 loaves… I have always read this story as a foretelling of the Eucharist, or as a new type of ‘Manna’, like the Israelites ate in the desert. But today I read this text after reading in Genesis about the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. God says ‘Accursed be the earth because of you, with suffering shall you get your food from it.. with sweat on your brow will you eat your bread’.

When these texts are read together, it seems that Jesus is reversing the Fall! Here is food given to the hungry, effortlessly. People are fed without working, without taking from anyone, and not only are they satisfied, but there is plenty left over.

This miracle is so familiar, I have heard about it since I was a child, that I had not really noticed it. But today it suddenly seemed an awesome thing, a work of God, feeding his hungry people.

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