A Miracle That Kept On Ginving
Sunday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Author: Catholic.net | Source: Catholic.net
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 6:1-15.
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiber'i-as. And a multitude followed him, because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, "How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?" Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost." So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!" Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
Lord, I believe that you, the Holy Trinity, dwell in my soul. Thank you for the joy of your friendship and love. I hope in you; I hope that you will guide me and my loved ones home to heaven, where we can delight in your presence forever. I love you and long to be a better instrument of your love.
Lord, help me to achieve an unconditional trust in you.
1. A Test to Get Us to Grow in Trust:
It was clear that Jesus’ disciples did not have the means to help these people out of their predicament -- neither in ready available cash nor in locating a nearby market large enough to feed the overburdening crowd. Yet Scripture says, “He said this to test him.” Let this passage remind us that God can allow our problems to become so big and desperate as to show forth his power. God wants us to trust in him and to purify our intentions along our journey of faith. How great our Lord is in solving the unsolvable and making possible the impossible. He cures the incurable, raises people from the dead, and, most importantly, converts the erring sinner. “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:38). Do I easily give up hope when I don’t see a human solution to a situation? Blessed is he who believes that what the Lord promises will be fulfilled (Cf. Luke 1:46).
2. Our Lord Wants Us to Play a Part in His Miracle:
God has the power of creating something out of nothing, but he asks for human collaboration, even if it is minimal. Here it is no different. The apostles are utterly poor: they can bring to Our Lord only five loaves and two fish from a boy they find in the crowd. Jesus asks us to contribute because he wants to teach us to be generous, even when we think we have nothing to give. Actually, it is when we give from our want that we most please Our Lord (Cf. Luke 21:1-4). Poverty is never an excuse for a lack of generosity in serving and working for Our Lord. This miracle proves to us that Our Lord can never be outdone in generosity.
3. Don’t Miss the Point:
In this scene Our Lord slowly prepared his apostles and disciples for his teaching on the Real Presence in the Eucharist. He had to purify their hearts and prune out attachment to the things of this world in order for them to accept the difficult teaching about his self-giving love found in the Eucharist. Even so, when he saw that the people were about to miss the point of his miracle, Our Lord “withdrew again to the mountain alone” (John 6:15). Sometimes Our Lord withdraws the comfort and consolation of his presence in our lives because we wrongly interpret their meaning and purpose. Do I properly discern the spirit in my heart when I pray? Am I happy only for things that gives me comfort, or am I truly coming closer to Christ because I recognize who he is and return to him the same authentic love he gives me and wants from me?
Conversation with Christ:
Thank you, Lord, for this meditation and the lessons I learned from it. Keep me generous so I may never lose my trust in you. When the situations of my life seem unsolvable, help me to trust that in your time, you will work your wonders in my life, bringing glory to your name.
I will make a visit to the Eucharist or a spiritual communion each day this week, offering this sacrifice of time for the conversion of the hearts of those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust, or do not love you, Lord, in the Eucharist.