Focusing less on the wonder and more on the Worker in the miracle of the loaves
Reflections on the readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 25, 2021): 2 KGS 4:42-44; PS 145:10-11,15-16,17-18; EPH 4:1-6; JN 6:1-15
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
The Son of God never wastes anything. Yet He wants us to understand the superabundance of His love for us and His concern for our complete well-being.
In today’s reading from the Gospel according to St. John, we hear about the miraculous event known as the multiplication of the loaves. It is the only one of Jesus’ miracles that appears in all four of the Gospels. And, in the sixth chapter of John, it leads us to our Lord’s discourse on the Bread of Life. But before we listen to His words about partaking of His flesh and blood, we join with the five thousand who gathered to find out what this preacher and healer would now say and do. Surely, they could not anticipate the gift that He would present to each of them. Christ sees that they are all tired and hungry, but they want something from Him that is more vital than a good meal. He uses the lunch of a boy in order to satisfy their stomachs and their hearts. The boy had provided himself with two fish and five loaves of bread, but our Savior has far bigger plans. “Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.’ So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets” (John 6:11-13).
The Son of God never wastes anything. Yet He wants us to understand the superabundance of His love for us and His concern for our complete well-being. Unfortunately, many in the crowd focused too much on the wonder and not on the Worker. They thought of Him as a prophet and king. It would take time for people to see that He was far more. He would lay down His body and then take it up again. He offered Himself for us would be able to receive Him for ourselves. Let us thank Christ for the Eucharist and all the ways in which He feeds our souls and bodies. And, on this World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, let us thank Him for all of these people who have handed down the faith to today’s young people.