“… And all ate and were filled…”
Gospel: Luke 9:11-17
11 When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured. 12 The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 They did so and made them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
Jesus continued to teach the crowds that had gathered until late in the day when his disciples came to him and said that Jesus should let the crowd go so that they might find food and a place to stay. Jesus told the disciples to feed the crowd themselves, but they knew it would be impossible because they only had five loaves of bread and two fish among them. Jesus instructed the disciples to divide the people into groups of fifty. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, blessed and broke them and shared them among the people. Not only was this food sufficient for the crowd but they had twelve baskets of leftovers.
Relating the Gospel to our lives today.
Meal times are so important for families. They ‘gather the group’ together, strengthen bonds, and let us feel part of something bigger than just ourselves. This is the same in our parishes. Being part of a larger group with other families helps us to remember that there are others just like us, sharing the same joys and difficulties that we have. We can find so much strength, joy and comfort every Sunday when we all come together in Jesus’ presence to share our weekly, holy ‘meal’.
The feeding of the 5000 was a miracle. But so is the Mass. In fact it is possible to draw quite a few parallels between the two events. They both involve a large number of people coming together in the presence of Jesus, to listen to His word and to share a meal. At both events the people are hungry – spiritually as well as physically. And at both events Jesus gives the people more than they can ever need – unending sustenance, replicated thousands of times over.
The feeding of the 5000 is a sort of foretaste of the Holy Mass we enjoy today – except of course that the bread we consume at Mass is the ‘Bread of Life’, Jesus Himself. He is the unending sustenance we crave. He is the only thing that can satisfy our hunger, completely and eternally.
- The greatest hunger in the world today is…
- Only Jesus can truly and completely satisfy this hunger.
- How will I feel when I receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist this week?
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ’s side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
and with Thy angels, forever and ever , Amen