Commentary on the Gospel of
Within the space of three chapters, Mark presents two instances of miraculous feeding, Mk 6:35-44 being the first one. The first feeding happened at a place between Tiberias and Capernaum, and the crowd was mostly Jewish. There, Jesus was consumed by preaching, and the disciples alert him to the physical needs of the people. In the second, the setting is near Decapolis (cf. 7:31), the eastern part, the “other side” populated mostly by pagans. Here it is Jesus who becomes concerned about people going hungry and alerts the disciples who don’t seem very interested and bring up excuses. When it comes to being Church, if we limit ourselves to ministering to our own, Jesus keeps shaking us awake to the everyday needs of those on the other side as well—for everyone matters, along with every need of theirs, both spiritual and physical, in his conception of the Church.