John 6: 1 – 15
After this, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee — or of Tiberias- and a large crowd followed him, impressed by the signs he had done in curing the sick. Jesus climbed the hillside and sat down there with his disciples. The time of the Jewish Passover was near. Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?’ He said this only to put Philip to the test; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do. Philip answered, ‘Two hundred denarii would not buy enough to give them a little piece each. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, ‘Here is a small boy with five barley loaves and two fish; but what that is among so many?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Make the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass there, and as many as five thousand men sat down. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were sitting there; he then did the same with the fish, distributing as much as they wanted. When they had eaten enough he said to the disciples, ‘Pick up the pieces left over, so that nothing is wasted.’ So they picked them up and filled twelve large baskets with scraps left over from the meal of five barley loaves. Seeing the sign that he had done, the people said, ‘This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.’ Jesus, as he realized they were about to come and take him by force and make him king, fled back to the hills alone.
God fed more than 5 thousand people….so He can also feed our spirits as well.
It’s rare to hear Jesus, the Son of God asking His disciples what to do, since he was their master. This shows how God still allows us the freedom to choose our own path. In times of despair, it’s easy for us to believe that we are not going to find the solution to resolve our problems, but Jesus invites us to be calm before we act and place ourselves in the hands of God.
Another point that highlights this gospel is the total gift of this young man who had the 5 loaves and 2 fish, such as offerings of the heart, without envy, giving everything he had. It is hard to let troubling things go, especially if they are important to us, helping the people that have the least is not just giving them something that we don’t want; it is sharing everything we have in life.
Then, when Jesus told them to sit on the floor, in the grass, this can be interpreted as a sign of faith, trust and humility. God works in our lives but also requires willingness and dedication on our part to obey his will.
This reading reminds us that Jesus not only gives us what we need to calm our hunger, but with his hands he can take something small and make it grand. I remember my grandmother’s words, “There is nothing that the love of God cannot calm.” We may be going through difficult storms in our lives, but when the mercy of God comes to us with his presence and sweet love; it can calm the storm around us. It is wonderful to see how Jesus did not act for the praise; every one of his miracles was done in the work of his love for us. Most importantly, He does not just calm our physical hunger, but also our spiritual hunger, filling our hearts with His infinite love.