We hear two stories today of multiplication of food. The first reading from 2 Kings describes the Prophet Elisha providing a meal for the people from a gift he had received as first fruits. No words of multiplication are given, yet the food is enough for the people in spite of his servant’s objections and doubts. The Gospel of John describes Jesus’ multiplication of the loaves and fishes for the crowd of five thousand men. In each of these readings there are fragments to be gathered. We see the overabundant graciousness of God in these readings.
These readings should make us pause and give thanks for the bounty God has provided us. We live by pretty high standards compared to many parts of the world. We typically have to be on a continuous diet so we don’t gain weight because we have so much food. Now that is not to say everyone here has an abundance. We must always be aware of the poor among us and do our best to assist them through charitable giving to Operation Bootstrap and other food banks or assisting them in other ways. But we must admit most of us have more than we need. Thank the Lord today for all His blessings.
Now the Gospel of John’s description of this miracle is also a typology of the Last Supper and of our Eucharist. This story points to the Last Supper using some of the same actions: Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them. Listen during the Eucharistic Prayer for these same action words. Give thanks for God’s gracious manner and contemplate this week just how blessed we are. Read the gospel passage again and imagine you are there next to Jesus as he breaks bread, because we really are there; at the Mass.