MARCHONS! MARCHONS! (The Marseillaise)

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time / Trinity 6.
Mark 6,7-13

“An army marches on its stomach” – It was the Corsican adventurer and sometime emperor of France and hate figure for the English, one Napoleon Bonaparte, who said that. He was the one who insisted on being crowned in St Peter’s Rome by the Pope, and when the Pope was a bit slow off the mark, grabbed the crown and put it on his own head. However, the meaning of that self-evident truth can be easily misunderstood. Napoleon did not mean that he was going to ensure that an endless caravan of supply carts laden down with the offerings of the best Parisian restaurants was going to cater to the whims of the French Army. No, what Napoleon meant was that the French army was expected to live off the land, as it went along. And if the land they marched through was barren, the troops could starve, as on the famous retreat from Moscow. It was a strategy that could bring great success, but it was also high risk …