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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday September 28, John 6.1-15

Tabgha as it is known.  One of the earliest Christian mosaic
known to exist, from near the site of the fishes and loaves.

John 6.1-15


6After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.2A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.3Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples.4Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near.5When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?”6He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.7Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.”8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him,9“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?”10Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.11Then Jesus 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.12When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.”13So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.14When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”
15When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

Thoughts:  Are people a problem or an opportunity?   Is there not enough, or more than we can imagine?  This story of the miraculous feeding of the 5000 occurs in all the Gospels and is a long time favorite of the Church.  What I think is so interesting is that everyone had as much as they wanted (vs 11).   This is God's economy where there is a superabundance for all.   I think this miracle reminds us that my brothers and sisters are not my competition; but fellow travelers, fellow guests at the divine table.  And that unlike what the world would have me believe, there is enough for all of us.  Enough food--yes; but also love, mercy and room at the feet of Jesus.

Questions:  What do you make of Jesus command to gather up the left overs (fragments) so that nothing might be lost?  Is he still talking about bread?  Why do you think is the motivation for the people wanting to make him King? 

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