Friday, April 16, 2021
Can anything on this earth truly satisfy the deepest longing and hunger we experience for God? A great multitude had gathered to hear Jesus, no doubt because they were hungry for the word of life. In today’s Gospel, Jesus fed their spiritual hunger, by miraculously feeding their physical hunger. The leftovers that filled the twelve wicker baskets shows that Jesus’ love for us is overflowing, more than we can consume.
Jesus' feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle that is repeated in all four Gospel accounts. What is the significance of this particular miracle? The miraculous feeding of such a great multitude pointed to God's provision of manna in the wilderness for the people of Israel under Moses' leadership. This daily provision of food in the barren wilderness foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would offer his followers.
Jesus makes a claim which only God can make: He is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy the deepest hunger we experience. The sign of the multiplication of the loaves when the Lord says the blessing, breaks, and distributes through his disciples prefigures the superabundance of the unique bread of his Eucharist or Lord's Supper. When we receive from the Lord's table, we unite ourselves to Jesus Christ, who makes us sharers in his body and blood. This supernatural food is healing for both body and soul and strength for our journey heavenward.
The feeding of the five thousand shows the remarkable generosity of God and his great kindness towards us. When God gives, he gives abundantly. He gives more than we need for ourselves so that we may have something to share with others, especially those who lack what they need. God takes the little we have and multiplies it for the good of others.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection:
Do you trust in God's provision for you, and do you share freely with others, especially those who are in need?