Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little (bit)." One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many? Jesus said, "Have the people recline." Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. 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 with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, "This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world." Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
GOD IS CAPABLE OF MULTIPLYING OUR GESTURES OF LOVE
Vatican City, 29 July 2012 (VIS) -
The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and its association with the Eucharist, and the importance of sharing our possessions, were the central themes of the Pope's remarks before praying the Angelus today with faithful gathered in the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo.
In the narrative of feeding the five thousand as recounted in today's Gospel, "the emphasis on the topic of 'bread' which is shared, and on giving thanks, are references to the Eucharist", the Holy Father explained. The narrative also mentions a boy who, seeing the difficulty in feeding so many people, shared the little he had: five loaves and two fish. Thus "the miracle did not come from nowhere, it came from an ordinary boy's desire to share what he had. Jesus does not ask us what we do not possess, but shows us that if each of us offers the little we have, a miracle can always happen. God is able to multiply every one of our small deeds of love and make us share in His gift".
In this episode "the crowds were struck by wonder. They saw Jesus as a new Moses, worthy of power, and the new manna as a guarantee for the future. But they stopped at the material aspect, at what they ate, while the Lord, realising 'they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain by himself'. Jesus is not an earthly king who rules, but a king who serves, who bends to man's level to meet not only his material hunger, but his deeper hunger, his hunger for guidance, meaning and truth, his hunger for God".
"Let us ask the Lord to help us rediscover the importance of nourishing ourselves not only with bread, but with truth, love, Christ, the body of Christ. ... At the same time, we wish to pray that no one may lack the bread necessary for a dignified life, and that all inequalities be removed, not through weapons and violence, but through sharing and love".